Monday, February 05, 2007

A Family Secret Worth Revealing

Chris Dolley accidentally discovered last month that his father played a key role in winning World War II.

So, yesterday I noticed a lot of hits on my website coming from a BBC site. I clicked on the link and tried to track down the source. No luck. But I did find an unexpected reference to a Dolley and HMS Bulldog. My father had been career Navy - a CPO when he died, he'd attended Naval school from the age of 11, enlisted at 15 and went to war at 19. And I was pretty sure that he'd served on HMS Bulldog.

So I clicked the link. And found an interview with an able seaman from the Bulldog talking about the North Atlantic convoys and the day they captured the German submarine U-110. My father was listed as one of the eight men mentioned in despatches for their part in capturing the submarine. [Link]
Why was the capture of this U-boat so significant? Because it was carrying an Enigma machine complete with codebook and operating manual, which together proved crucial to deciphering Hitler's secret communications. Dolley's father carried the secret to his grave in 1960.

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