Code-Breaker, Alan Turing, FINALLY Gets a Royal Pardon

The MKWeb reported on January 8, 2014 a story about David Cameron giving praise to Alan Turing and other workers at Bletchley Park.

Bletchley Park was on Prime Minister’s Questions with David Cameron and Labor’s Ed Miliband. At 12:30pm, the BBC Parliament Milton Keynes MP lain Stewart spoke with Cameron live about Alan Turing, the code breaker of WWII.

Stewart said, “The Royal pardon granted to WWII code-breaker Alan Turing means justice.”

Cameron responded by stating that Turing and his co-workers were essential to winning the war. Alan Turing was named the Bletchley Park hero and he received a posthumous pardon by Queen Elizabeth before Christmas.

Turing was credited with saving thousands of lives as a member of the team that cracked the Enigma code the Germans used. This act shorted the war by an astounding estimated two years.

He was convicted of “gross indecency” with another man in 1952. This was during a time when homosexuality was illegal and resulted in “chemical castration.”

There’s been a long campaign to clear Turing’s name which included an e-petition that garnered a lot of support. There was also a Private Member’s Bill and support from well-known scientists like Stephen Hawking and members of the public in Milton Keynes.

Under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, the pardon was requested by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. It clears Turing; who has often been described as the “father of modern computing.”

One of the leading figures behind the campaign was Concervative MP Iain Steward, who is openly gay.

It is a delight to see Steward and many residents of Milton Keynes who campaigned to clear Turing’s name, to see the Prime Minister Cameron recognize on live television the efforts Turing did and the work of the others who dedicated their time to Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE