It is clear from the interviews that the criteria for recruitment were based on family background, level of education and personal abilities such as language skills.

Many of the soon to be Bombe or Colossus operators had attended sixth forms or passed entrance exams to their schools and almost all were from middle class families with some being quite 'posh'.

Choosing to join the WRNS for many was inspired by the uniform, the idea of being a 'glamorous' driver or being boat's crew and living by the sea, so it was quite a shock for those WRNS recruited to Bletchley Park when they found the sea was miles away.

Women attended basic training at various locations around the country. For many basic training took place a long distance from home. Square bashing, routine and discipline were the order of the day.

Technical training

The Bombe operators were given barely any training, learning on the job, in contrast to the Colossus operators who even had mathematics lessons from Professor Newman.