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Research note: Further on Jews at Bletchley

Martin Sugarman

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies , volume 44, 2012 Jewish personnel at Bletchley Park MARTIN SUGARMAN As a supplement to his earlier research on Jews in the armed forces , Martin Sugarman informs us of another Bletchley Park man , including a portrait. 7944566 Captain Nathan Somers, RA/IC Nathan was born in Cardiff on 26 June 1909, the son of Samuel Somers/ Sommers and Kate (née Rayman). He went to Canton Grammar School and was "barmitzvahed" in Cardiff. Despite earning an Exhibition to Oxford University he could not afford to take it up and studied German at Cardiff University instead. As a German linguist he became a secondary school teacher in Workingon (briefly) and then at Waterloo Grammar School in Liverpool. When war broke out he volunteered and did basic training at Catterick, later moving to the RA in order to take his Commission at the 133rd OCTU in North Wales into the Intelligence Corps. It was here that he met his wife, who was in the ATS (Sgt W/30556), Fanny 'Fay' Yetta Peter, from Brighton. His AJEX Jewish Chaplain card shows that he lived at 1 14 Bury New Rd, Prestwich. Somers soon answered a call for linguists and found himself posted to Bletchley as a translator. He worked in Block F and was a section commander in the Testery dealing with high-level material connected to the German High Command and Diplomatic traffic. He remembered reading a document telling of the capture of Randolph, Winston Churchill's son. He was often called away to attend secret conferences in London. After the war he again taught German in Liverpool and founded a local CCF at Waterloo School, becoming its Major. Somers was also the leader of the very tight-knit Crosby Jewish Community. He had three sons, Peter, Nicholas and Harold, the last two also being linguists. Nathan Somers died in 1973 without divulging any further information. 231</page></plain_text>