D-Day codebreaker found out WWII to end two days before rest of world – Daily Mail


A D-Day codebreaker who found out the Second World War in Europe was going to end two days before the rest of the world has vowed to keep the historic letter in his family.

Bernard Morgan, was working as an RAF codebreaker in 1945 when he deciphered a secret telex which read: ‘The German war is now over… The surrender is effective some time tomorrow’.

And the ex-serviceman, who celebrates his 100th birthday today, has vowed that the important telex will be kept in the family when he passes away.

Ahead of his birthday, the great-grandfather read out the note – dressed in the uniform he wore on D-day – to remind others of the liberties they had won in the victory.

But the Royal British Legion Ambassador (RBL) refuses to give museums the original, instead insisting it will stay in his family.

Bernard Morgan, 100, was a codebreaker during WWII and found out the war in Europe was going to end two days before the rest of the world

Bernard Morgan, 100, was a codebreaker during WWII and found out the war in Europe was going to end two days before the rest of the world

Mr Morgan, pictured 1st May, 1944 whilst working as an RAF codebreaker

Mr Morgan, pictured 1st May, 1944 whilst working as an RAF codebreaker

Mr Morgan holding the original telex he received which read: 'The German war is now over... The surrender is effective some time tomorrow'

Mr Morgan holding the original telex he received which read: ‘The German war is now over… The surrender is effective some time tomorrow’

Mr Morgan, who was the youngest RAF sergeant to land in Normandy in June 1944, said: ‘I am always keen for the younger generation to know exactly what went on during the War and to appreciate the sacrifice that our lads made so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.

‘The Imperial War Museum in London and in Manchester both wanted the original copy – they weren’t interested in a photocopy – but I’m keeping it for my family.’

Mr Morgan, of Crewe, Cheshire, landed on Gold Beach at 6.30pm on D-Day, June 6, 1944, aged 20, after he had joined the RAF on his birthday two years earlier.

He was stationed in Schneverdingen, Germany, when he got the message on around May 6, 1945, declaring that the war in Europe was ending via his Typex machine.

The note stated: ‘The German War is now over. At Rheims last night the instrument of surrender was signed which in effect is a surrender of all personnel of the German forces – all equipment and shipping and all machinery in Germany.

‘Nothing will be destroyed anywhere. The surrender is effective some time tomorrow. This news will not be communicated to anyone outside the service nor to members of the press.’

Ahead of his 100th birthday, the great-grandad read out the note - dressed in the uniform he wore on D-day - to remind others of the liberties they had won in the victory

Ahead of his 100th birthday, the great-grandad read out the note – dressed in the uniform he wore on D-day – to remind others of the liberties they had won in the victory

Mr Morgan training at Oxford base, August 2, 1943

Mr Morgan training at Oxford base, August 2, 1943

He was stationed in Schneverdingen, Germany, when he got the message on around May 6, 1945, declaring that the war in Europe was ending via his Typex machine

He was stationed in Schneverdingen, Germany, when he got the message on around May 6, 1945, declaring that the war in Europe was ending via his Typex machine

Mr Morgan's priceless telex relaying the news that the war was over

Mr Morgan’s priceless telex relaying the news that the war was over

Following the news, Mr Morgan had a big party with his close comrades – lighting a huge bonfire and celebrating into the night while being careful not to give the game away.

And he kept both the note and his role in the war hidden for 50 years due to secrecy documents he had signed, which finally elapsed in 1994.

He said of receiving the note: ‘It was a surprise. We couldn’t tell anybody until we got the final message to say the war in Germany was now over.

‘We had to decode it – it was in code. It was great when we got that. I was in a little place called Schneverdingen, Germany, near Hamburg.

‘It was nice to see that no more soldiers, sailors or airmen were giving their lives… and also to thank the civilians who gave their lives for the same reason.

‘My parents thought the war was like the First World War, ankle-deep in mud, and they never asked what I did in the air force.

‘Being their only child, they were so glad to see me come home.’

Mr Morgan said despite his glee at the end of the conflict, sharing the note with others also made him reflect on those who had died during the fighting.

He kept both the note and his role in the war hidden for 50 years due to secrecy documents he had signed, which finally elapsed in 1994

He kept both the note and his role in the war hidden for 50 years due to secrecy documents he had signed, which finally elapsed in 1994

Mr Morgan said despite his glee at the end of the conflict, sharing the note with others also made him reflect on those who had died during the fighting

Mr Morgan said despite his glee at the end of the conflict, sharing the note with others also made him reflect on those who had died during the fighting

Mr Morgan's original WW2 uniform with a whistle attached to the collar

Mr Morgan’s original WW2 uniform with a whistle attached to the collar

The widower, who was married for 51 years before his wife's death, is planning to return to Normandy with the RBL to mark the 80th anniversary of D-day in June

The widower, who was married for 51 years before his wife’s death, is planning to return to Normandy with the RBL to mark the 80th anniversary of D-day in June

He added: ‘On occasions like this, I always think about the three wireless operators that I lost in Normandy. They were the lads bringing me the messages.

‘One of them was 19 and two of them were 20, and whenever I go to Normandy, I always go to their graves.’

After the War, Mr Morgan worked on the railways and at Crewe Alexandra where he was a turnstile operator for 57 years.

The widower, who was married for 51 years before his wife’s death, is planning to return to Normandy with the RBL to mark the 80th anniversary of D-day in June.

His daughter Sheila said: ‘We are incredibly proud of Dad, and it is wonderful that so many people want to share his special day.

‘He will always be a war hero but he is a brilliant dad, grandad and great-grandad, too.’

Nancy Kay, Branch Chair for the RBL in Crewe, added: ‘Our D-Day veterans are a dwindling band of brothers, so it is incredibly important that we take every opportunity we can to celebrate the achievements and the bravery of those people who helped to liberate Europe 80 years ago.’



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