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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Christine’s cracked the code to ageing well

Former Bletchley Park code breaker and Goodna resident, Christine Brose, has never let a hurdle get in the way of a good adventure.

As the newest member of Bolton Clarke’s Centenarian Club, she still lives in her Goodna home and stays active with home care support.

Born on 25 March, 1924 in Woking, England, Christine spent her childhood travelling with her family across the globe as a result of her father’s role with the British Foreign Office.

“We went to Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Spain, Venezuela – but Mexico was my favourite, it was just perfect and I can still speak Spanish now from those days,” she says.

At 17 she was sent to finishing school to learn etiquette and household skills, but World War II intervened and provided a new direction.

Instead, the teenager landed a job as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, working as part of the Government Code and Cypher School to solve German Naval Enigma messages.

“I was told to go to an interview with a lady at room 47 in the Foreign Office in London.”

“I went up the stairs, had a short talk to her, she gave me one ticket to Bletchley and said take two weeks to buy clothes and go there on the Saturday.”

Christine at the 80th war reunion at Bletchley Park.

While there she rubbed shoulders with Winston Churchill, Alan Turing and Hugh Alexander.

“We actually went back in 2019 to the Bletchley Park reunion and she was correcting the tour guide but refused to talk any further because she had signed the Official Secrets Act 1940,” says son, Tony Brose.

“They eventually advised she was allowed to speak after all those years and so she finally opened up a little and we got to hear some of the stories we had never heard.”

After the war ended, Christine travelled to Darwin where she met her late husband, Eddie, but his German nationality meant the pair had some hurdles to overcome.

“When I met my husband, we were very nervous to introduce him to my family because he was German and I am British,” Christine said.

“I had to apologise a lot to my family and it was hard because for someone not brought up in the British system, you don’t really understand – and he didn’t.

“No one was really rude to him but we had fought against one another in the war so everyone was hesitant.”

Christine and Eddie eventually married and settled on a small farm in Goodna where they raised six children and where Christine still lives now with Tony.

“Mum has always been really active – for her 80 th birthday she climbed to the base stations of Mount Everest and then when she was 88 she jumped off Mount Tamborine in a paraglide,” says Tony.

“She almost won the Boonah Go-Kart Championships in her 80s too, but ended up crashing
and going to hospital. Now she brags about how lovely the hospital was!”

As for Christine’s advice for living a long and happy life: “Get someone to look after you
nicely!”

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