Irene Jessie Brown
Irene Jessie Young
16 February 1919
|Died||7 June 2017 (aged 98)
|Known for||Bletchley Park codebreaker|
|Children||Iain Gordon Brown|
Irene Jessie "Mouse" Brown (née Young; 16 February 1919 – 7 June 2017) was an author and codebreaker who worked at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire in Hut 6 during the Second World War. She was employed as a linguist and translator working in the Registration Room and the main Decoding Room.
Irene Young grew up and attended school in Edinburgh (St. Margaret's Convent School, Canaan Park School and Esdaile College). She was interested in French, English literature and Latin. At University of Edinburgh she read English Language and Literature.
She began working at Bletchley Park in the Government Code and Cypher School in 1942. Brown wrote a book (in her maiden name) about her time at Bletchley, Enigma Variations: a Memoir of Love and War. Published in 1990, it was one of the first books to describe what life was like at Bletchley. Women formed roughly 75% of the workforce at Bletchley Park. The book tells of her time in Hut 6, everyday life at “Station X”, her wartime experiences in general and the tragic death of her first husband (Leslie Cairn). Irene and Leslie both worked in confidential roles. He in the Special Air Service (SAS), she as a codebreaker. Neither could tell the other much about what they were doing. In 1944, he became missing in action in occupied France.
She married Reginald Sydney Brown in 1948. They returned to Edinburgh and she worked in a departmental library at Edinburgh University. Her papers and correspondence are held there. She lived much of her life in Edinburgh and died in 2017 at the age of 98.
- "Obituary - Irene Brown, Bletchley Park veteran". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Smith, C. (26 August 2015). The Hidden History of Bletchley Park: A Social and Organisational History, 1939–1945. Springer. ISBN 9781137484932.
- "Papers of Irene J. Young, Special Collections". University of Edinburgh Archive and Manuscript Collections. University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Young, Irene (1990). Enigma variations : a memoir of love and war. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 1851582940. OCLC 20995363.
- "Women Codebreakers". Bletchley Park Research. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "Obituary: Irene 'Mouse' Brown, linguist, poet and author of a pioneering memoir on Bletchley Park". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "Obituary: Irene Brown". The Times. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "What happened to the women of Bletchley Park?". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "Irene Jessie "Mouse" (Young) BROWN's Obituary on The Scotsman". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 August 2017.