The war hero who lost a badge of honour on the same day she was awarded it for cracking Nazi codes during World War II has |spoken of her delight that she has been given a new one.
Aileen Gillian MacDermott, from Coleraine, received the badge for vital service she carried out during World War II while she worked at the Government Code and Cipher School at the now-famous Bletchley Park.
The work done at the decoding and ciphering centre has been hailed as providing crucial assistance to the Allied war effort and Mrs MacDermott worked as a decoder for six years, cracking codes sent by people all over the world to aid the troops at air, land and sea.
After receiving the medal last Friday the 88-year-old pinned it to her jacket and went out to walk her dogs. When she returned she discovered she had lost it. Since then there has been a wide-scale search for the gold brooch after Mrs MacDermott, who is |well-known in the community, spoke of her devastation after losing it.
When search attempts came up with nothing, Mrs MacDermott contacted Bletchley Park and was passed on to someone who said they could help her. The next afternoon an envelope arrived in the post which had a replacement badge for the war veteran.
Speaking about finally getting another medal, Mrs MacDermott said: “It was just wonderful, I am so happy. Two phonecalls and 24-hours later it arrived, I could not believe it when I tore open the envelope and it was there. It’s absolutely marvellous.
“The help I have had has been incredible, so many people offering their services, it’s been absolutely heroic.
“It’s just knocked me for six, it’s so nice to think there are still some good people about. I am grateful to everyone.”