Prince Charles unveils memorial to GCHQ codebreakers

The Prince of Wales has dedicated a memorial to codebreakers and the work of GCHQ at the National Memorial Arboretum

Prince Charles has unveiled a plaque and memorial commemorating the codebreaking efforts of GCHQ and its forerunners.

The Prince of Wales, the patron of the UK intelligence services, dedicated the sphere of rose-coloured granite and the plaque to anonymous codebreakers at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, on Friday.

The plaque reads: "To commemorate all British and Allied personnel whose work with Signals Intelligence and Communications Security has supported HMG in war and peace since 1914". The sphere was sculpted by an artist called Nick Johnson.

The ceremony was attended by intelligence agency staff and international intelligence allies.

GCHQ director Iain Lobban said in a statement that "the teamwork and unglamorous hard slog" of codebreaking work complemented efforts of individuals such as Alan Turing.

The UK began to develop effective radio and telephone interception during the First World War. The Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) was set up in 1919, and was based at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. The GC&CS turned into the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in 1946.