24
May
11

Alice in I. D. 25

Alice in I. D. 25: A Code-breaking Parody of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Frank Birch with Dilly Knox.

Illustrations by G.P. Mackeson

Private publication (Aznet Publishing), August 2007.

With introductions by Edward Wakeling and Mavis Batey.

This is a reprint of a suppressed parody/pantomime of Alice which was first performed in 1918. It parodies intelligence and code-breaking during World War One. The author suppressed publication, fearing that the secret identity of members of the Admiralty cryptography team might be compromised if the book did come to light.

The ID 25 of the title is the Naval Intelligence Division section 25, also known as Room 40.

ISBN: 978 1 904733 04 0

Francis Lyall (Frank) Birch 1889 – 1956 was a British cryptographer, educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. He joined the NID in 1916.

During WWII, he worked at Bletchley Park, and became Head of the (German) Naval Section.

Alfred Dillwyn ‘Dilly’ Knox CMG (1884 –1943) was also a British codebreaker and member of the Room 40 unit. Later, at Bletchley Park he worked on the cryptanalysis of Enigma ciphers until his death from lymphoma in 1943.

Mavis Batey (born 1921) was another Bletchley Enigma codebreaker.

Edward Wakeling is a former teacher, school inspector and chairman of the Lewis Carroll Society.

There’s also a Jabberwocky parody by Dilly Knox written about the Hut 6 mathematicians in WWII:

Twas Hutsix and the wranglercoves

Did twist and twiddle at the CYC;

All grimst were the Jeffreybrows,

And the Babbage outschreik.

Bought from Bletchley Park- well worth visiting.

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3 Responses to “Alice in I. D. 25”


  1. 1 paul cornwell
    February 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Hello, I would like to have a copy of Alice in I.D. Is it available somewhere?
    Franks Birch’s Cambridge experience, mostly theatre, can be found in my book Only by Failure, a biography of Terence Gray who ran the Festival Theatre.
    Hope to hear from you, Paul Cornwell


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