FAMILY and friends turned out to pay their respects to a “heroic” Wren who was awarded a medal in recognition of her work at Bletchley Park cracking the German codes.

Maude Violet Hughes died on May 1 aged 94. Her funeral took place at St Asaph Crematorium on Friday, May 17.

A Naval officer, a Sea Cadet petty officer and Royal Marine sergeant were present at the funeral.

Maude’s coffin was draped with the White Ensign.

Rhyl Journal:

Picture: Kerry Roberts

The service was led by reverend canon John Glover and donations, in memory of Maude, were collected for St Kentigern Hospice.

Maude's nephew George Owen said: "The funeral all went well, the family were pleased. We had the chaps who came in their uniform which was excellent and we had the president of the Lions.

"She was given a very good send off. There were about 30 people in attendance.

"Reverend Glover who took the service was very good, he was very sympathetic."

Maude spent her latter years at her Maes Emlyn flat, Rhyl.

Rhyl Journal:

Maude's nephew George Owen. Picture: Kerry Roberts

She was born in Liverpool in 1925 and had a brother and two sisters, Winnie and Ann.

In 1939, she left school and went to work at Police Station in Dale Street, which sustained heavy bombing during the Liverpool blitz. Undaunted, Maude was soon busily employed in the police security offices until, in 1944 aged 18, she volunteered for the Wrens.

Her work in police security led to her being recruited as a bombe operator, which was the name of the code-breaking machine at the top-secret war-time codebreaking centre at Bletchley Park, set up by Winston Churchill. She worked on breaking the German codes until May 1945 and then transferred to work on Japanese documents.

George said: "After the war, Maude never told anyone about her war work at Bletchley Park, not even her husband. It was only many years later when a programme about Bletchley appeared on TV that she revealed to her family and friends her heroic involvement in the war effort.

Rhyl Journal:

Maude Hughes - Lions presentation

"She stated proudly that she had signed the official secrets act and that was that as far as she was concerned."

In 2009, Maude was awarded the Bletchley Park Medal and given the Freedom of Bletchley Park by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in recognition of her wartime efforts helping to crack the secret enemy codes.

Rhyl Journal:

The original photo of Maude Hughes at Trafalgar Square, having a break from Bletchley Park with four other Wrens feeding the pigeons on July 4 1944. (Picture courtesy of George Owen)

Once the war ended, Maude returned to civilian life and married Alfred Noel Hughes. They lived at various points in Ffynnongroew, Prestatyn and Rhyl.

George added: "Maude was a very gentle soul who had a wry sense of humour which endeared her to all who knew her and she will be missed."