Audrey Ruth Briggs

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Audrey Ruth Briggs
Audrey Ruth Briggs

Alma materNewnham College, Cambridge
Spouse(s)Oliver Churchill
ChildrenToby Churchill
RelativesDavid Briggs (brother)

Audrey Ruth Briggs (1920–2005) was a cryptanalyst at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.[1]


Ruth Briggs was the youngest daughter of Rev. Canon George Wallace Briggs.[2] She had two sisters and two brothers, one of whom, David, became Headmaster of King's College School, Cambridge.[2]

She graduated in Modern Languages from Newnham College, Cambridge and from 1942-1945, as an expert in German, worked at Bletchley Park as a member of the Z Watch, which translated the decrypted messages.[3][4][5][6][7] She worked variously in Huts 4 and 5, Block A(N), and Naval Section NS I - German Cryptography.[3][5]

Briggs's work has been recognised in breaking codes used by the Axis powers during the war.[8] About 75% of the Bletchley Park staff were women but few female codebreakers were recognised for their work.[5][9]

In 1946 she married former SOE Officer Major Oliver Churchill DSO MC in Worcester Cathedral where her father was a Canon, and her oldest son is Toby Churchill.


  1. ^ Codebreakers – The inside story of Bletchley Park, edited by F. H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp, Oxford University Press
  2. ^ a b "British Army Officers 1939-1945". World War II Unit Histories & Officers. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Bletchley Park Roll of Honour
  4. ^ Roland Oliver (2013), In the Realms of Gold, Routledge, pp. 35–38, ISBN 9781134571710
  5. ^ a b c Bletchley Park Research : Women Codebreakers
  6. ^ Women Were Key to WWII Code-Breaking at Bletchley Park
  7. ^ The Bletchley Girls Tessa Dunlop, Hodder & Stoughton,
  8. ^ Lusted, Marcia Amidon (2017). Innovators: The Stories Behind the People Who Shaped the World With 25 Projects. White River Junction, VT: Nomad Press. p. 87. ISBN 9781619305182.
  9. ^ "Women Codebreakers". Bletchley Park Research. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2019-07-25.