Francis Birch (cryptographer)
|Francis Lyall Birch|
5 December 1889|
|Died||14 February 1956
|Other names||Frank Birch|
|Occupation||Cryptographer and actor|
|Spouse(s)||Vera Benedicta Gage Birch|
During World War I, he served as a lieutenant commander with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and served in the Atlantic, the Channel and the Dardanelles before joining the Naval Intelligence Division (Room 40) from 1916 to 1919. Birch wrote a satirical history of Room 40, Alice in ID25. Birch was awarded an OBE in 1919.
He was a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, between 1915 and 1934 and a lecturer in history at Cambridge from 1921 until 1928.
Birch left Cambridge to pursue an acting career in the 1930s.
He joined the Naval section at Bletchley Park in September 1939, and later became Head of the (German) Naval Section. He had to face the shortage of Bombes to decipher the Naval Enigma, which led to the use of American Bombes via OP-20-G. Birch was awarded a CMG in 1945.
- School for Stars (1935)
- Jubilee Window (1935)
- Cross Currents (1935)
- Wolf's Clothing (1936)
- Love at Sea (1936)
- Such Is Life (1936)
- Jump for Glory (1937)
- Twin Faces (1937)
- Victoria the Great (1937)
- Jennifer Hale (1937)
- Who Goes Next? (1938)
- The Challenge (1938)
- The Villiers Diamond (1938)
- Lady in the Fog (1952)
- Will Any Gentleman...? (1953)
- Face the Music (1954)
- Ralph Erskine, Birch, Francis Lyall (1889–1956), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
- Action this Day edited by Michael Smith & Ralph Erskine (2001, Bantam London) ISBN 0-593-04910-1
- Who was Who 1951-1960
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