Donald Morgan at JN11, Bletchley Park

Donald Cecil Morgan served in the Intelligence Corp in the Second World War and worked for two years in JN 11, one of the Japanese Naval sections at Bletchley Park. In Dec 1945 he was sent to India

Bletchley 1943, JN 11 members, l-r, Doris Moller, Gwen, Molly Bodley, Sylvia,?,Olive Wright, Jessie, ?, Fred, Donald Morgan, Gwen, Wal, Liz, John Baynes, Al

Bletchley 1943, JN 11 members, l-r, Doris Moller, Gwen, Molly Bodley, Sylvia,?,Olive Wright, Jessie,?, Fred, Donald Morgan, Gwen, Wal, Liz, John Baynes, Al

In June 1943 Donald, aged 20, came from the Intelligence Corps depot at Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham to a course in Bedford where they studied Code Breaking at the Inter Service School there (ISSIS). At the end of the course Donald and one other, John Baynes, were selected to join JN 11 based in Bletchley Park. Here he spent the next two years from Oct 1943 working on Japanese Merchant Navy Auxiliary Codes.

Donald Morgan, 1941

Donald Morgan, 1941

A few documents have survived. Most notably there is an exchange of correspondence with the historian and author, Alan Stripp in 1995 where they discuss some of the organisation and personnel they encountered.

Donald had been asked to write and submitted a history of the JN 11 Unit in late 1945. This was probably destroyed.

Something that has survived was the VE day letter to all from Sir Stewart Menzies, Head of MI6 as well as the copy of a poem about Bletchley that is widely reproduced elsewhere.

We also have a collection of Bletchley Park programmes for a series of Reviews and Amateur Dramatic events. It is believed these were collected by Donald rather than by his future wife Pamela Downing, who was also working at Bletchley in Hut 6.

Although the married couple knew each other worked in Bletchley, they discussed none of their work in detail until after the mid 1970’s. Pamela worked in the high intensity environment of Hut 6 – where staff worked through the night, some times doing double shifts. The Japanese sections worked usually with pen and paper and only two shifts a day.

In Donald’s handwriting, recorded in 1995, there is a list of the following names, that represents some kind of organisational structure of Japanese Naval Section JN11 at Bletchley. Bletchley was notorious for its non hierarchical management, where civilians, ranking army officers and juniors worked together. Donald (DCM) held the rank of Warrant Officer in the Intelligence Corps.

Captain Macintyre RN
later Hugh Alexander (Head)
John English,
Brian Augarde
DCM,
John Baynes
Olive Wright,
Molly Bodley,
Liz Davies,
Gwen Thomas
Georgette and Doris Moller,
Patrick Taylor,
Roger Ellison,
Harry Field
Sheila Howes,
Mary Hayter,
Roma Hutton,
Kay Thomas

Sources

  • Alan Stripp: Codebreaker in the Far East, 2002
  • FH Hinsley and Alan Stripp (ed): Codebreakers: The Inside story of Bletchley Park, 1993