Station X engineer’s program ends
Gil Hayward, one of the Post Office engineers who built the Tunny decoding machines that decrypted German High Command messages at Bletchley Park (Station X) during World War Two, has died aged 93.
Hayward was also responsible for helping to rebuild the National Museum of Computing’s Tunny machine. Colossus, the world’s first stored program electronic computer, suggested wheel settings by used the Germans’ Lorenz cipher machine to encrypt messages, A bank of Tunny machines tested these suggested settings on the captured cipher texts and eventually decrypted most of them.
His son Mark tells of Haywards’ special way of testing Tunny machines: “My father used the GPO engineers’ phrase ‘Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party’ to test every Tunny machine. By using a particular wheel setting, if the typed in phrase gave the output ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud oer vales and hills’, then everything was set correctly.”
A fuller and more fitting obituary is here.