Alfred Dillwyn Knox

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Alfred Dillwyn Knox was born in England back in 1884.  He was educated at Summer Fields School, Oxford and Eton College.  He continued his education at King’s College.  After graduation, he was recruited to the Royal Navy’s cryptologic unit just after the outbreak of World War I.

After the war he wanted to resume his research at King’s College, however his wife persuaded him to remain with the Royal Navy.  His work was so top secret, even his children only found out about what he done many years after his death.  He died in 1943 from lymphoma he was 58.

What you may not know about Alfred is that in 194, he discovered the method that broke the Italian Naval Enigma, which provided the Allied victory at the Battle of Cape Matapan, he also broke the Abwehr Enigma.  By the end of the war he had disseminated 140,800 Abwehr decrypts, including the intelligence important for D-Day.

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Comments (18)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray 

Mar 01, 2021 03:19 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... truly an unsung hero and there were many of them during World War II. Thanks for shining the light.

Mar 01, 2021 04:05 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

Hopefully, it saved lives!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Mar 01, 2021 04:11 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi James Dray - one of the brilliant group that broke the cokes of the Axis.

Mar 01, 2021 05:06 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - while reading your post, I thought this could be a good movie plot. Then I start reading the comments and  see Barbara Todaro has shared the beginning stages of a possible book adaptation.  

Mar 01, 2021 05:12 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Must say, Alfred could keep a secret but he would also discover secrets of others. Enjoy your day.

Mar 01, 2021 05:13 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Hmm, another man that I never would have known anything about if I had not visited your blog this morning.

Mar 01, 2021 05:26 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Alfred loved to solve puzzles. I remember writing "secret" code when I was a kid. I was fun and of course as children it was silly to think my brother and I needed a secret code. Thanks James Dray .

Mar 01, 2021 05:32 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James Dray I can only imagine how many lives his worked saved

Mar 01, 2021 06:21 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story. Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Mar 01, 2021 07:39 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I knew about this, and loved that he broke the code.  His actions ended a dreadful war.  A

Mar 01, 2021 08:14 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I have been amazed how these code breakers ever broke this scramble of words and math James Dray 

Mar 01, 2021 08:32 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I am always amazed at the great people who live through history and have such an amazing impact.

Mar 01, 2021 09:04 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi James- what an amazing thing he did. And can only imagine how his might must have worked. 

Mar 01, 2021 09:55 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thank you for sharing another piece of history.  What a great mind Alfred Knox had - to be able to break those codes. 

Mar 01, 2021 02:38 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - I always wonder what it might be like to have to work in complete secrecy.  I could never do that kind of work.  

Mar 01, 2021 05:29 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Fascinating story! His skills far outweigh mine! Having to work in Top Secret must have been a challenge!

Mar 02, 2021 03:49 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

It can be said that Alfred Dillwyn Knox truly impacted the course of  history through his brilliance and hard work.

Sep 06, 2021 05:57 PM