The Bank Of England has revealed its new look £50 note that will feature gay WWII codebreaker and computer pioneer, Alan Turing.
Turning was responsible for deciphering Nazi Germany’s Enigma code during the war and played a crucial role in the development of early computing machines.
After the war, in 1952, Turing was prosecuted and convicted for homosexual acts. He chose chemical castration treatment as an alternative to imprisonment. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from self-administered cyanide poisoning.
In 2013, Turning was granted a posthumous pardon by Queen Elizabeth II and an apology from then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated”.
Four years later, the Turing law, which pardoned gay men with past convictions, was passed.
Turing was selected to feature on the £50 note in 2019 following a public nomination process mostly in recognition of the discrimination that he faced for his sexuality.
Turing’s life was dramatised in 2014’s feature film, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, based on the 1983 biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.