back to article Baroness Trumpington, former Bletchley Park clerk, dies aged 96

Baroness Trumpington, a wartime Bletchley Park transcriber who was part of the push to posthumously pardon Alan Turing, has died aged 96. As the daughter of a society family that had almost been ruined in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Jean Campbell-Harris left school aged 15 "having never sat an exam but fluent in French, …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Pint

    Not enough of these in the world------>

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Pint

    A suitable picture to remember her by here...

    https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/national/17257791.11-of-baroness-trumpingtons-best-quotes/

    Hopefully her family send her away with a box of fine cigars...

  3. wolfetone Silver badge
    Pint

    "Hopefully her family send her away with a box of fine cigars..."

    Next time my wife moans at me for smoking a cigar I'll direct her to that article, pointing (with said cigar) "SHE LIVED TO 96!!!!"

  4. A. Coatsworth

    Yes, but if she hadn't smoked so much, she'd be at least 100 by now!

    Sorry, bad joke... nothing but my respect to the Baroness. It seems she really spent her time in this Earth well.

  5. Fungus Bob Silver badge
    Holmes

    No, she'd still be 96 by now. She would not be 100 for four more years.

  6. macjules Silver badge

    Don't make them like they used to.

    One of her more endearing quotes was, “My mother’s idea of being poor was going to the Ritz on a bus”

  7. David 132 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Don't make them like they used to.

    My favourite of her quotes was referenced in her obituary in today's Telegraph.

    Apparently when she was being appointed a Baroness, the title of Trumpington belonged to someone else, so she was asked whether there was an alternative Cambridgeshire location she'd accept for her title.

    "You don't think I'm going to call myself Lady Six Mile Bottom, do you?" she demanded.

    ...And subsequently got Trumpington.

    RIP.

  8. Richard Tobin

    A BBC headline describes her as a "Nazi code-breaker".

  9. Wellyboot Silver badge

    BBC grammar isn't what it once was. :/

  10. Wellyboot Silver badge

    A Good Life

    Imagine being 18 yr. old and suddenly getting the utterly secret job transcribing the life & death of thousands at the most critical point of the U-boat war. It puts a real perspective on what's 'important' for the rest of your life.

    Firmly help opinions & ageing disgracefully, the only way to go!

  11. steelpillow Silver badge
    Pint

    Re: A Good Life

    My Mum got much the same job with the Admiralty, and at much the same age. Though the coded messages were ours, they still carried the same horror. And she smoked Black Russians afterwards, not cigars. She in turn taught me what was "important" for the rest of my life.

    I'm sure the Baroness needs someone to talk to. This beer's for you, Mum.

  12. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: A Good Life

    ...as did mine (though on the other side of the pond -- Nebraska Ave in DC).

    I think probably the worst part for her was being kicked out the door at the end of the war, being told "thank you very much, now get out". At 25, having had all that responsibility and having accomplished so much, to be told that your services are no longer required, and you should settle down and raise children (which she did, and very well, too) is somewhat (!) of a slap in the face.

    But that was how they treated the women who ran the country while the men were off fighting.

    Here's to them all!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "thank you very much, now get out"

    While they should have indeed been treated better, they could have also had it worse. They might have ended up with a shortage of limbs, sanity, or been six feet under in some corner in a foreign field; Worked to death as slave labour, gassed, drowned whilst trapped in a sinking steel coffin, massacred in reprisals, burned in a firestorm, starved, died of disease, ...

    Thank f*ck that that was never me.

  14. Daedalus Silver badge

    Advocatus Diaboli

    Isn't this the sort of privileged life story we're supposed to look back on with, at best, mixed feelings nowadays? What exactly did she do for the Tories to get her title? She's a character out of Evelyn Waugh's canon, and not one of the nicer ones. Maybe not even a Mrs. Stitch, whose power could be used for good or evil. She sounds more like Guy Crouchback's wayward wife than some delicate English rose.

  15. Daedalus Silver badge

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    It gets better. The protagonist of Waugh's "Put Out More Flags", an ironic look at the Phoney War, is called Alistair Trumpington.

  16. LucreLout Silver badge

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    Isn't this the sort of privileged life story we're supposed to look back on with, at best, mixed feelings nowadays?

    Why on earth would you think that? The war generation are worthy of your respect. No caveats. No buts.

    What exactly did she do for the Tories to get her title?

    Probably a damn sight more than Chakrabarti did in the peeragewash.

    Baroness Trumpington did a damn sight more for this country than I suspect you or I will ever do. So if you want to make empty headed, ignorant, and fact free lefty rants, facebook is over there --->

  17. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    What she did for the Conservatives looks to be the usual mix of being a JP, local councillor and doing charity work. I admit here that I just popped into Wikipedia for a look - and it's not a well written article, but she didn't half get up to a lot. Assuing it's all true of course.

    She seems to have done a bunch of Quango work, like being a member of the mental health tribunal (appointed by Labour in the 70s) - and as the piece says representing the country at the UN.

    The peerage seems to have come during the time she was at the UN (1980), so I'd imagine it came because of that. But may also have been because Thatcher was planning to make her a minister later, when she came back? She also seems to have been involved in the diplomatic bits of Court - hence being made a Baroness and a privy councillor in 1980.

    On Desert Island Discs she asked for the Crown Jewels as her luxury item. That way she'd have a better chance of getting rescued. Well played that woman!

    I also approve of her having been a steward for Folkestone racecourse. So she clearly liked a drink, a smoke and a flutter.

  18. Daedalus Silver badge

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    The war generation are worthy of your respect. No caveats. No buts.

    Waugh didn't think so. Many of his characters from the WW2 stories are back-scratchers and black market customers. I'll take S. Milligan Esq. over Trumpington any day.

  19. robidy

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    Sometimes, it's best not to advertise one's ignorance.

  20. David 132 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    Daedalus, haven't you ever heard the guidance "do not speak ill of the dead"?

    There are no such injunctions regarding the living, however, so allow me to warn that in your utterings here you're tending to come across as just another bitter, shrivelled left-wing miserablist with a chip on his shoulder a mile wide.

  21. sed gawk

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    I'm sure she was a rude pain in the arse, but frankly your "English rose" stuff is just guff.

    Why does she have to be "a rose" to have helped, or to be worthy of a title.

    What exactly did she do for the Tories to get her title?

    She served her country at a time of existential threat, She helped.

    The notion of being worthy of a antiquated and inequitable honours system is quite a stretch given the typical accomplishment of the holder is simply having been born.

  22. sed gawk

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    Oh leave Chakrabarti alone, she's a very nice lady who's entire professional career has been helping campaign for our rights, such as post 9-11 attempts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-terrorism,_Crime_and_Security_Act_2001 to curtail our freedoms.

    I reckon our pair of Baronesses would have got on famously and had a lot more in common than you might have expected. There seems to be some really distaste, on here, towards lefty do-gooders, even the ones actually *doing good*.

    People trying to keep us out of the grips of overly authoritarian government are A Okay in my book.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    The vast majority of peers are appointed, the vast minority get it through birth...it changed so long ago it was in Blair's time as PM.

    She served at Bletchley Park...if you've not been you could consider going...it's a beautiful experience...treading in just some of her foot steps is a real eye opener to part of Churchill's war strategy.

  24. hmv

    Re: Advocatus Diaboli

    Just to add that this left-wing nutter might well enjoy a good political argument with Baroness Trumpington (a certain cartoon theme tune plays whenever I hear that name) but that doesn't mean I don't respect what she's done for this country.

  25. A.P. Veening

    May she rest in peace.

  26. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Happy

    Doubt it. I don't think she did anything quietly...

  27. robidy

    I didn't think May was dead...

  28. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "she had "a bloody good innings"."

    I think we all hope for as good, or better.

    RIP

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Had a smile today, on radio someone who knew here was taking about her younger days when apparently her idea of a good time was to "pop into Paris and get ar"eholed"... there was a moment of sulence followed by "oops sorry I shouldnt have said that on radio should I?"

    A fitting tribute to a plain speaking woman.

  30. Scott 26

    HIGNFY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ollDxiMIejI

  31. cornetman

    My memory might fail me, but I seem to remember that she was a friend to the Fulham Brass Band, an organisation that I was a member of some many years ago.

    I had the honour of picking her up from the Houses of Parliament in my beat up old BMW car to attend an anniversary celebration. Felt quite the honour. :)

  32. Sam Haine

    I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

    She was a bigot and a snob. She viewed people who 'worked on the land' (as she put it) with condescension at best and she preferred by far the land-owning Pembertons.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

    Are you certain it wasn't just you?

  34. Sam Haine

    Re: I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

    We seem to have a few Tories on The Register today.

  35. Spazturtle Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

    "We seem to have a few Tories on The Register today."

    Nothing wrong with having educated people around.

  36. Sam Haine

    Re: I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

    "Nothing wrong with having educated people around."

    And there's nothing wrong with having a few Tories around either!

  37. EssentialTremor

    If you do nothing else in your computing career, take a day and visit Bletchley. The grounds and buildings are now a museum and what you will see and hear there will astonish and move you. The Baroness was one of many whose accomplishments and dedication had no precedent and have not been equaled.

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