Mirror Books will publish a new memoir about the only living sisters to have signed the Official Secrets Act during the Second World War.
Senior commissioning editor Ajda Vucicevic acquired world English rights to Codebreaking Sisters: Our Secret War by Patricia and Jean Owtram from David Riding at MBA Literary Agency. Publication is scheduled for 30th April 2020.
"Drawing on their diaries and letters of the time, Patricia and Jean have pieced together the story of their secret war, a story of persistence, comradeship and fighting spirit shown by the everyday British people fiercely determined to bring down the Nazis," reads the synopsis. "During the war, Patricia, fluent in German, was snapped up by the Wrens and posted to top-secret listening stations along the British coastline. As a young petty officer secretly intercepting German shipping radio, she supplied Bletchley Park with the Enigma code it so desperately needed. Jean's quick brain for crossword solving landed her a secretive role as Code & Cipher Officer in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. At just 18 years of age, she was posted to Cairo, before moving on to Italy to support allied agents and aid Partisan efforts against the Nazis."
Vucicevic said: "Patricia and Jean are two incredibly brave women who, when the war started, joined up to defend our country, without hesitating for a single moment. In their own unique way, the two sisters went on to live through some of the most dangerous times, serving with honour and dedication. I'm extremely proud to be publishing this remarkable and very special book."
The Owtram sisters added: "We are both delighted and surprised that after all these years the story of our secret war is to be published. Our hope is that this book will go some way in further commemorating the essential and active contributions made by women during the Second World War."