Gay codebreaker Alan Turing remembered in stamp series
The work of codebreaker Alan Turing, who died in 1954, two years after being prosecuted for homosexuality, is to be celebrated on a commemorative stamp this year.
The computer pioneer’s legacy will feature as part of a series of ten ‘Britons of Distinction’.
Turing, who worked at Bletchley Park during the World War Two, was prosecuted for his sexual orientation in 1952 and obliged to undergo chemical castration. He committed suicide two years later, aged 41.
His invention of the Turing machine helped Allies crack the German codes created by the Nazis’ Enigma machine, enabling them to decipher intercepted messages and considerably aiding the war effort.
In 2009, after a campaign led by Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry, Peter Tatchell and supported by PinkNews.co.uk, 30,805 people demanded that the then prime minister Gordon Brown issue an apology for Turing’s treatment on behalf of the British government. Mr Brown agreed to do so.
In 2009, he said: “It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different.”
Other Britons celebrated on the stamps include SOE heroine Odette Hallowes, composer Frederick Delius and the Golden Jubilee of Coventry Cathedral, which is marked by honouring its architect Sir Basil Spence.