Pictured above: Dr james Grime (left) with Douglas Adams Society pupils and the legendary Enigma Machine
One of the iconic Enigma machines, used for encoding secret military messages in World War II, made its way to Brentwood School last week. Dr James Grime, an expert on the device, came from Cambridge University to enlighten Upper Sixth form pupils from the scientific Douglas Adams Society about its fascinating history and scientific relevance today.
Dr Grime, a post-doctorate lecturer at Cambridge University, told the full story of Enigma. He introduced the concept of coding via an informative presentation, and challenged the students with inspiring concepts such as how to create codes and ciphers, and where to start when solving them. The Enigma machine was still in fully working order, and Dr Grime showed the students how it was used by the Germans in the 1930s, as well as describing the intricate workings inside.
This was not the first time the Enigma machine has been associated with Brentwood School. A former pupil of Brentwood School, Mr John Jeffrey, developed the punched card system used to break the enigma code. The late Shelia Kent, a former Matron at Brentwood School, had also worked on the code breaking programme, however was sworn to silence until much later in life by the Official Secrets Act.
Dr Grime answered some astute questions posed by the pupils, who were all within touching distance of the remarkable piece. The Douglas Adams society is an academic group run for Upper Sixth pupils who are interested in broadening their scientific knowledge outside the classroom. This week's inspiring lecture will be remembered by all of those involved.