Honour For Turing
The exceptional World War II code-breaker and father of computing, Alan Turing, has been honoured with a commemorative blue plaque. The plaque was placed on the outside of his childhood home in the sleepy Sussex town of St Leonards in Upper Maze Hill, 100 years after his birth.
Turing is widely acknowledged for breaking Germany's enigma code that became vital in the allied war effort, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Later on his work on binary code and computation became the founding basis of the modern computing we all rely on these days.
Turing should have been hailed as a national hero much sooner, however in 1952 he was charged with offences relating to his homosexuality. Remember homosexuality was still illegal in the United Kingdom at that time. Faced with a choice of a lengthy prison sentence, possibly with hard labor, or medical treatment, Turing settled for the treatment, which amounted to chemical castration. Turing died of ingesting cyanide in 1954, some believe this was a tragic accident whilst others are of the opinion that he took his own life.
The blue official plaques, placed by English Heritage, are commonplace throughout the UK to commemorate the link between notable cultural people of the past with their residences. This honoure of connecting people and places has been running since 1866.
“I think it is only right that we mark the town’s connection with this amazing man, who changed the world twice. It is no exaggeration to say that Alan Turing was one of the most remarkable people ever to have lived, and I am very pleased indeed that his childhood home in St Leonards has now been recognised.” Peter Chowney, the deputy council leader said.