A 100-YEAR-OLD spy captivated the audience in Wem as she shared her experiences in a talk titled 'My Time at Bletchley Park'.

Hosted by the Wem Civic Society via Zoom, the event allowed members to learn from Betty Webb MBE's fascinating journey as part of the code-breaking team during World War II.

The view of members was that she would have risen to any challenge.

“A most impressive lady”, said one of the attendees.

At just 18 years old, Betty, living in Aston-on-Clun, joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service to contribute to the war effort.

Fluent in German, she was assigned to the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, where she played a vital role in deciphering Enigma messages.

Betty's adventures didn't stop there, as she also worked at the Pentagon and even attended the King's Coronation as a guest.

During the talk, the audience raised intriguing questions, particularly focusing on the challenges of maintaining secrecy during those times and the experiences of a young woman working away from home.


Betty's unassuming response left a lasting impression on the attendees, who admired her courage and resilience.

For the Wem Civic Society chairman, Oliver Richardson, Betty's talk had a personal connection as his father served at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

The meeting also prompted discussions about the White Horse building in Wem, which Shropshire Council recently purchased, eliciting relief and gratitude from the members.

Thanks were extended to Wem Economic Forum and Wem Town Council, who, alongside the Civic Society, fought for the building's preservation.

While the purchase was celebrated, concerns lingered about the conservation process and ensuring the building would benefit the community.

A spokesperson from the Wem Civic Society added: “Many years ago, the society lobbied for the upper floors of the building to be converted into flats, which would provide an income to the council, while the ground floor was turned into community use, whether artisan workshops or sales areas, or other community uses.”