'A fascinating read'
Milton Keynes Citizen
‘McKay’s focus is rather on the personal experiences of the individual Y Service operators — it brings home not only the reality of what these people were doing but also the daily privations endured with remarkable resilience by so many in that war. As with those at Bletchley, the silence of that generation, their disciplined restraint for decades afterwards, is as impressive as their achievements. They felt the powerful pull of common cause and (mostly) had the privilege of knowing that their contribution was significant. Awful as it was for much of the time, for many nothing that followed ever quite lived up to it. We should be grateful that the survivors are talking now.’
Alan Judd Spectator
'As McKay argues in this well-told story, the Y Service has been "sadly and curiously" uncelebrated. Yet were it not for all those encoded messages relayed with such care, the codebreakers at Bletchley would have had little to go on. It was their efforts that made the revolutionary leaps of Bletchley possible. They should be commemorated properly as having played their parts in one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, he says. And he has done them proud.'
Brian MacArthur Daily Telegraph
‘Sinclair McKay has gathered together memories, from published works and from interviews with surviving veterans. This book is full of delightful episodes.’ The Book Dad
‘Sinclair McKay’s account of this secret war of the airwaves is as painstakingly researched and fascinating as his bestselling The Secret Life Of Bletchley Park, and an essential companion to it.’ Daily Mail
‘Their contribution enabled the code-breakers to achieve their break-through, something that, in turn, shortened the war and saved countless lives.’ Good Book Guide
The veterans who monitored radio traffic and transcrived Morse code are given full, overdue credit in this intriguing book Saga Magazine
Follow-up to the bestselling The Secret Life of Bletchley Park, the hitherto-untold story of how young men and women across the world listened in to and intercepted the enemy’s radio traffic so that Bletchley Park’s codebreakers could turn the course of the war. Before Bletchley Park could break the German war machine’s codes, its daily military communications had to be monitored and recorded by the Listening Service” the wartime department whose bases moved with every theatre of war: Cairo, Malta, Gibraltar, Iraq, Cyprus, as well as having listening stations along the eastern coast of Britain to intercept radio traffic in the European theatre. This is the story of the usually very young men and women sent out to far-flung outposts to listen in for Bletchley Park, an oral history of exotic locations and ordinary lives turned upside down by a sudden remote posting the heady nightlife of Cairo, filing-cabinets full of snakes in North Africa, and flights out to Delhi by luxurious flying boat.