Private News Article

VE Day 70th Anniversary - 8 May 2015

Last Updated: 02 Dec 2015
On 8 May 1945, the end of the World War Two in Europe was marked by VE Day. To mark its 70th anniversary, we are publishing three documents from our archives which demonstrate the extraordinary contribution of Bletchley Park to the war.

These fascinating documents are a clear reminder of the value of Bletchley Park, and the esteem with which its work was held across the world by the small number who knew anything about it at the time.

After the war, although many of the staff could go back to their peacetime occupations, some chose to continue to work for GCHQ. Today, we continue the proudest traditions of Bletchley in all our work to protect the UK.

To view the complete letters:

  • Click any image to view a sample, or start at Letter one and scroll through them all
  • Click the 'Download pdf' link in the caption

All images are © 2015, and can be downloaded for Editorial use only.

Letter of thanks from Dwight Eisenhower

In the first letter, Eisenhower expresses his thanks to Sir Edward Travis (the Head of Bletchley Park) for the magnificent services of Bletchley s staff in assisting the Allied cause.

Eisenhower states that the intelligence produced by Bletchley Park saved thousands of British and American lives and, in no small way, contributed to the speed with which the enemy was routed and eventually forced to surrender .

Director expresses his admiration to staff

The second letter is from Sir Stewart Menzies to all Bletchley staff on VE Day itself. Sir Stewart expresses his unbounded admiration for how they performed their duties throughout the war, signing off this is your finest hour .

Arrangements for celebrating VE day

The third letter was also sent to all staff, and details the arrangements for a public holiday to celebrate Victory in Europe. A thanksgiving service was to be held on the front lawn, and staff were reminded to take care of their passes as there will be no relaxation of checking by the Security Officers .

This letter also reminds us that Bletchley s contribution to the war effort did not conclude with the victory of the Allies in Europe; staff continued to work against Japanese targets until the end of the war in the Pacific.