A SECOND World War veteran from Barnet who helped to crack the Enigma code has been honoured with a second medal for her work.

Joyce Aylard served as a Wren in Eastcote from the age of 18 helping Bletchley Park officials break the code by running combinations on a code cracking machine.

The 84-year-old said: “I can't say I had a very hard war. When I was 18 in 1943 I decided I wanted to join the Wrens and I was stationed at the office in Eastcote.

“There were a lot of machines there and we used to work in three shifts following the menus and switching the bombes in and out to try different combinations to try and break the code.

“We knew roughly what we were doing but we didn't realise how important it would be to the outcome of the war. We were doing as we were directed.”

Mrs Aylard said the culture of secrecy around their work was so great she did not tell her husband for nearly 20 years what she had done during the war.

“It just wasn't something we used to talk about. We knew how important it was. It was so secretive we couldn't even have cleaners. We had to do it all ourselves,” she said.

“The work was very enjoyable. There was a good sense of comradeship between us all. It was nice as if you were on an evening shift you could go into town and have a meal and watch a play before starting work.

“I remember once seeing Hamlet being played by Olivier, but we had to leave early because we needed to get to work.”

When victory in Europe was declared, Mrs Aylard was transferred to Bletchley Park to help crack the Japanese code, then went on to study at the London School of Economics.

After the war she met and married her husband Joe, with whom she lives in Woodville Road, and taught economics at Queens Girls School.