Audrey Ruth Briggs

Audrey Ruth Briggs (1920–June 2005[1]) was a cryptanalyst at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.[2]

Audrey Ruth Briggs
Audrey Ruth Briggs

1920 (1920)
DiedJune 2005(2005-06-00) (aged 84–85)
Alma materNewnham College, Cambridge
Spouse(s)Oliver Churchill
ChildrenToby Churchill
RelativesDavid Briggs (brother)


Ruth Briggs was the youngest daughter of Rev. Canon George Wallace Briggs.[1] She had two sisters and two brothers, one of whom, David, became Headmaster of King's College School, Cambridge.[1]

She graduated in Modern Languages from Newnham College, Cambridge and from 1942-1945, as an expert in German, worked at Bletchley Park as a member of the Z Watch, which translated the decrypted messages.[3][4][5][6][7] She worked variously in Huts 4 and 5, Block A(N), and Naval Section NS I - German Cryptography.[3][5]

Briggs's work has been recognised in breaking codes used by the Axis powers during the war.[8] About 75% of the Bletchley Park staff were women but few female codebreakers were recognised for their work.[5][9]

In 1946 she married former SOE Officer Major Oliver Churchill DSO MC in Worcester Cathedral where her father was a Canon, and her oldest son is Toby Churchill.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "British Army Officers 1939-1945". World War II Unit Histories & Officers. Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Codebreakers – The inside story of Bletchley Park, edited by F. H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp, Oxford University Press
  3. ^ a b "Record Detail - Bletchley Park - Roll of Honour". Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  4. ^ Roland Oliver (2013), In the Realms of Gold, Routledge, pp. 35–38, ISBN 9781134571710
  5. ^ a b c "Women Codebreakers - Bletchley Park Research". Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  6. ^ Fessenden, Marissa (27 January 2015). "Women Were Key to WWII Code-Breaking at Bletchley Park". Smithsonian Magazine. Archived from the original on 30 January 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  7. ^ Wagner, Erica (4 May 2015). "From Bletchley girls to Russian aces: the forgotten women at war". Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  8. ^ Lusted, Marcia Amidon (2017). Innovators: The Stories Behind the People Who Shaped the World With 25 Projects. White River Junction, VT: Nomad Press. p. 87. ISBN 9781619305182.
  9. ^ "Women Codebreakers". Bletchley Park Research. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2019-07-25.