SJ8497 : Alan Turing, Sackville Park

taken 5 years ago, near to Manchester, Great Britain

Alan Turing, Sackville Park
Alan Turing, Sackville Park
Alan Mathison Turing was born in 1912. In 1935 he developed the concept of the Turing machine, considered to be the basis of the modern theory of computation. It was published in 1936, whilst he studied for a PhD.

During the Second World War Turing worked at Bletchley Park, the Government Code and Cypher School Headquarters, and his invention of the “Bombe” is credited with helping the Allied Forces win the war. Bombe was able to decode the previously “unbreakable” codes produced by the German Enigma machine, thus shortening the war and saving countless thousands of lives. In 1945 Turing was awarded the OBE by King George VI for his wartime services, but his work remained secret for many years.

After the war, Turing moved to the University of Manchester, where the first digital computer “Baby” was developed. He became part of the team responsible for most of the important breakthroughs in the development of the computer. He also worked on the subject of Artificial Intelligence.

In 1952 Turing disclosed his homosexuality to a detective investigating a burglary at his home. Homosexuality was at that time a criminal offence and he was arrested, and subsequently the man whose work had been crucial to the war effort failed his security clearance at GCHQ, the post-war successor to Bletchley Park.

Turing was found dead in 1954, a bitten apple beside him. It is believed that he committed suicide by ingesting potassium cyanide from the apple (although the apple was never tested).

The Alan Turing statue in Sackville Park was unveiled on 23rd June 2001, the day that would have been his 89th birthday had he lived. Sculptor Glyn Hughes has depicted Turing as a scruffily dressed, ordinary man holding an apple whilst sitting on a park bench. The apple represents Newton, the tree of knowledge and forbidden love as well as being a reminder of Turing’s death.

The plaque reads:

"Alan Mathison Turing
Father of Computer Science
Mathematician, Logician
Wartime Codebreaker
Victim of Prejudice".

In 2009 the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, issued a full and unequivocal apology to Alan Turing on behalf of the British Government for "the appalling way he was treated". LinkExternal link (Daily Telegraph report)

LinkExternal link The Alan Turing Home Page maintained by Andrew Hodges, author of “Alan Turing: the Enigma”
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SJ8497, 1516 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 15 September, 2012   (more nearby)
Sunday, 16 September, 2012
Geographical Context
Park and Public Gardens  City, Town centre  People, Events 
Date (from Tags)
1912  1954 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8443 9779 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:28.5962N 2:14.1635W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8443 9778
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Other Tags
Alan Turing  Statue  Monument  Memorial  Public Gardens  Mathematician  Computing  Computer Science  Park 

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