Tributes To Bletchley Park Mastermind

31 August 2011, 10:45 | Updated: 31 August 2011, 10:55

Tributes are being paid to one of the men credited with saving the codebreaking centre where codebreakers helped shorten the Second World War.

Tony Sale has died aged 80.  He was one of the founders of The Bletchley Park Trust, set up to recognise the efforts of codebreakers at the centre in Milton Keynes.  He also masterminded the successful rebuilding of the world's first operational computer Colossus, which had been used at Bletchley.  Tony is pictured, right, with Colossus.

In a statement, Bletchley Park said: "Tony was a remarkable man with a long history of engineering skill and prowess and he recognised the importance of saving Bletchley Park at a time when its true historic relevance was not fully understood. The re-building of Colossus was a monumental challenge involving much research and a solid understanding of very advanced mathematics as well as the engineering skills to assemble such a complex machine.

"Always a fighter, he tirelessly worked to ensure Bletchley Park was preserved for the nation and along with his wife Margaret, was part of a small team that started the campaign for Bletchley Park and ultimately saved it for the nation. He dedicated his long retirement almost entirely to his work at the Trust and subsequently as part National Museum of Computing based at Bletchley Park.

Simon Greenish, director of the Bletchley Park Trust, said "Tony’s contribution to the early days of the development of the Trust when the site was under very real threat of development was fundamental and without him, the Bletchley Park site and its hugely important history would perhaps not have survived.  His work on re-building Colossus was an enormous challenge and took many years to complete.

"Tony’s achievements have been recognised in recent years with Honorary Doctorates from three Universities.  It is very fitting that he met the Queen on her recent visit when she unveiled the memorial to honour wartime veterans."

Tony is survived by his wife Margaret, who was another supporter of Bletchley Park, along with their three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.