Woman who worked for MI6 during the Second World War dies

PUBLISHED: 10:24 12 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:58 23 November 2018

Eileen Carver enjoying in herself in Scotland in her eighties. Picture: Jenny Tabecki

Eileen Carver enjoying in herself in Scotland in her eighties. Picture: Jenny Tabecki


A Norwich woman who sent coded messages around the world when she worked for MI6 during the Second World War has died aged 93.

Eileen Carver. Picture: Jenny TabeckiEileen Carver. Picture: Jenny Tabecki

Eileen Carver worked at top secret Bletchley Park, famous for being code-breaking headquarters during the conflict, and, later, for the Labour Party in Norwich.

Recruited from Norwich City Council, where she was employed in the typing pool and then the Register Office, she was transferred to Bletchley to be a teleprinter operator, sending coded messages around the world.

When she was younger, Mrs Carver, whose maiden name was Paris, provided supplies for Free French personnel, who were training for parachute drops into occupied France, a stint which helped her use and improve her schoolgirl French.

One day she was given a go with a machine gun but turned to talk to the instructor while firing off rounds, and it was quickly taken away from her.

Eileen Carver at her husbands wake. Picture: Jenny TabeckiEileen Carver at her husbands wake. Picture: Jenny Tabecki

She had joined the Independent Labour Party in Norwich after leaving school, having been introduced to politics by her parents Thomas and Gladys Paris.

She met her husband Arthur Carver - who she described as “the best thing that ever happened to me” - at the party’s social club in Kier Hardie Hall in 1946.

They married two years later.

Her commitment and voluntary work for the Labour party were rewarded when she was given paid work organising fundraising activities, which she continued for many years until her husband became unwell.

Mrs Caver lived with her husband, who died 10 years ago, in their house on Cunningham Road for 64 years until the last few months of her life.

She is survived by children Jennifer and John, grandchildren Nell and George and great grandchild Jude, with another on the way.

Mrs Carver died in Redmayne View Care Home, in Sprowston, after a short illness.

Her funeral service, at St Mary’s Church in Earlham, was conducted by her friend, reverend Rosemary Houghton, who read from Mrs Carver’s memoirs, which had been recorded by a local historian.

In them, she had, modestly, said: “I’ve never thought of my life as having been interesting.”


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