Not all battles are won on the frontlines. Miles away from Nazi occupied Europe a group of mathematicians and computer scientists at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, did the unbelievable by breaking the German Enigma Code.

Thought by Hitler’s army to be an impenetrable and safe form of communicating valuable military information from one party to another, the Enigma Machine, which encoded the messages using ciphers was a persistent thorn to the Allies’ war effort.

But away from enemy fire and imminent danger Royal Navy servicewoman Ruth Bourne worked alongside others, including famous codebreaker Alan Turing, to intercept these scrambled Nazi messages. And their actions, while not evoking the same images of bravery as soldiers on the frontline, were a vital step for the allies on their path to victory.

Now in her late 80s and living in Woodside Park, Ruth is set to answer questions about her role at Bletchley Park, alongside Bletchley researcher and archivist John Gallehawk, at a special screening of The Imitation Game, at the Phoenix Cinema, in East Finchley.

In the film, Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the role of genius Alan Turing, who was born in Paddington and raised in Maida Vale and went on to play a pivotal role in breaking the Enigma Code by designing the bombe machine, which was used to decipher messgages. The movie, which also stars Islington actress Keira Knightley, examines key periods of Turing’s life, before, during and after World War Two. Tragically, in 1952, despite all of his accomplishments, Turing was convicted for having a sexual relationship with another man, then a criminal offence, and elected to be chemically castrated rather than go to prison.

Speaking ahead of the screening Ruth paid her respects to her former colleague, saying: “All of us admire Turing for his genius. My view of him is that he was a man of destiny; born at the right time at the right place, but not for him.”

  • Ruth Bourne will answer questions after the screening of The Imitation Game, at the Phoenix Cinema, High Road, East Finchley, Monday, November 17, from 5.45pm. Details: 020 8444 6789,