Military History with Pete and Gary

No.28

In 1998, Pete was fortunate enough to interview Tommy Flowers for the Imperial War Museum. Who was he? We all should know, but his story has been somewhat buried in the story of the Colossus decoding computer.

Born in East London of a workingclass family, Flowers was certainly not ordinary as he had a mind the size of a planet! He reflected: “I became top of the form, more or less top or near the top. I was good at arithmetic – mathematics. Not so good at English. My verbal ability has always been a handicap to me! I can think, but I can’t talk!”

He was always keen on engineering and electronics, and went to East Ham Technical College. In 1926, he went to work as an engineer at the Post Office working on the installation of automatic telephone exchanges. In 1930, he moved to the Post Office Research Laboratories at Dollis Hill in London.

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