After the war, the two sisters were reunited, and they led calm lives until one evening at dinner, when they discovered that each had kept a secret from the other for 30 years.
When they first learned each other’s genuine biographies, the secret only served to energise them more because, unknowingly, they have always resembled one another in ways other than just their outward look, making it safe to refer to them as Mrs. and Mrs. Smith.
British sisters Jean Argles and Patricia Davy served in the Second World War, but they were unaware of one another’s contributions until a shared supper 30 years after the war’s conclusion.
Before the war, in the 1930s, the sisters’ family employed an Austrian servant to tutor them in German.
This came in handy in 1939 because the government hired Patricia, the oldest child, when she turned 18 to work at a covert communications facility where she began intercepting Nazi radio waves and interpreting messages.
Jean also reached legal adulthood in 1943. She was assigned to a position as a secret officer in codes and ciphers and went to Egypt and later Italy. The girl backed the allies and assisted the partisans in both nations.
Consequently, both sisters unknowingly served as decipherers throughout the Second World War. Also, they were unable to discuss their duty with anybody, including their own family.
We began by signing a formal paper regarding state secrets. It was quite ominous since it warned that I would die if I let it out, Patricia told the BBC.
Because of this, neither Jean nor Patricia ever disclosed these aspects of their lives. When they got together for a combined supper only 30 years later, Patricia made the decision to find out what her cousin was doing in Egypt.
The women made the decision to be honest with one another about their pasts now that the battle was over.
Despite the three decades of secrets, Patricia and Jean did not argue and instead got to know one another considerably better.
Perhaps, like the person who unintentionally revealed to his father his family’s secret history, they understood that all that transpired during the conflict should remain in place.
Finally, the sisters made the decision to tell their experience to the world and published Codebreaking Sisters: Our Hidden Battle in the summer of 2020.