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Jane Fawcett
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. The Unforgettable Jane Fawcett – The Unsung Codebreaker of Bletchley Park

The Unforgettable Jane Fawcett – The Unsung Codebreaker of Bletchley Park

When we hear about codebreakers and their pivotal role in WWII, the names that come to mind are often Alan Turing and his vital work on the Enigma machine. However, there were many unsung heroes and heroines who contributed just as crucially to code-breaking efforts. One such person is Jane Fawcett, a woman who played a significant role in deciphering enemy messages and never received the recognition she deserved. Let’s delve into the life and contributions of this remarkable codebreaker.

Jane Fawcett – Early Years

Jane Fawcett was born in 1921 in England. Her family was military, and she grew up moving from one place to another. She was educated in Belgium and Switzerland, where she became fluent in French and German. She excelled in mathematics and showed a particular aptitude for code-breaking. In 1939 she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and was posted to Bletchley Park, Britain’s code-breaking center during the war. She was initially assigned to work as a translator, but her mathematical prowess was soon recognized.

Jane’s Contributions

Fawcett worked in Hut 6, a section responsible for breaking the codes of enemy messages encrypted by the German army and air force. Fawcett was instrumental in the deciphering of messages from the German Air Force and played a leading role in breaking the Lorenz code, one of the most challenging of the war. Her skills in statistical analysis and pattern-recognition helped to crack the code, saving many lives, and providing vital intelligence which helped Churchill to take strategic decisions.


Despite her contributions, Fawcett remained largely unknown until the 1970s, as almost all information about Bletchley Park was classified until then. Even after the war was over, she returned home under orders not to reveal anything about her work. Despite this, her contributions are undeniable, and she received a variety of medals and honors, including the MBE, the OBE and the Legion of Merit.


Fawcett’s work in code-breaking continued after the war, and she used her skills to track down criminals and pedophiles. She worked briefly as an actress too, before dedicating herself to charity work. In later years, she was involved in the organization Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which assists people who crave sex with children, which she felt was directly connected to her work before and after the war.

Jane Fawcett’s Legacy

Jane Fawcett was a remarkable woman, a true unsung hero, whose contributions to the war effort were gargantuan. Her highly specialized and invaluable skills in code-breaking, coupled with her brilliant mathematical mind, helped shorten the war and save countless lives. Her humility and secrecy only add to her mystique, and it is long past time that she received greater recognition for her many achievements. The contribution of women in the wartime effort is often underplayed, and stories like Jane Fawcett’s go some way to righting the balance and spotlighting the remarkable women who helped to shape history.

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