University of Oxford
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My Great Grandparents: Code Breakers

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posted on 2024-06-05, 16:21 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

My great-grandfather, Frederick NH Pexton, was a German speaker and mathematician and when he was enlisted into the RAF he was employed as a codebreaker. He worked at Chicksands Priory, which was a 'Y' station. Chicksands worked closely with Bletchley Park and my great-grandfather would visit weekly to deliver new information.

He met my great-grandmother, Jeanette Duncan-Teape, who intercepted German coded messages at the listening station. Both of my great-grandparents were officers. Jean and Freddie met at Chicksands, married in 1943, and had my grandmother Ann in May of 1944.

As my great-grandparents signed the Official Secrets Act, they never spoke about their work during WWII other than a couple of amusing stories. My great-grandfather Freddie spoke about funny times in the mess, one of which involved him lighting a bonfire during lunch. My great-grandmother Jean apparently cycled home with some documents by mistake; she was so worried she slept with them under her pillow.

They returned to civilian life in 1945. Throughout the years after they never let any information out about their work. Freddie died in 1974 and Jean died in 1989.


Item list and details

Presentation and photographs

Person the story/items relate to

Frederick N.H. Pexton and Jeanette Duncan-Teape

Person who shared the story/items

Victoria Conheady

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Great grandparents

Type of submission

Shared online as part of the SOS: Save Our Stories campaign.


St Richard's Catholic College, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex

Record ID

97166 | SOS