News Article

BBC interviews former Director GCHQ

Last Updated: 11 Sep 2013
In April 2013 a BBC film crew was given unprecedented access to GCHQ to interview one of our former directors, Sir Arthur Bonsall.

Sir Arthur Bonsall, who was Director GCHQ from 1973-78, began his career at the outbreak of the Second World War when he was recruited to work for the Air Section at the top secret code-breaking establishment of Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. The work of the Air Section, although not as well-known as the famous Enigma operation, played a crucial role in the allied war effort.
The interview covered this period of his life and touched on what it was like to work for an organisation that had no public profile during Sir Arthur's time. In recent years the work of Bletchley Park has been declassified, giving Sir Arthur, who also met his wife whilst working there, the opportunity to talk about his early career:
"Up until then I really hadn't said anything about my own work to members of my family and I had a sort of way of answering which told them nothing at all. Grandchildren now had authority to ask me what I was doing so I began to have to try and remember what I did do during the war. That was quite a big change."