Centenary of the local inventor of the modern computer

Alan Turing Photo:

A ceremony will be held today to mark the centenary of one of the North West's most famous mathematicians.

Turing is widely credited as the father of the modern computer. While working at Manchester University, Turing created the world's first machine that could store programmes.

Called the Manchester Computer it formed the basis for it's modern counterparts including devices from laptops to iPads.

The mathematician was also instrumental in deciphering Nazi codes during the Second World War.

Turing was also gay, which at the time was a criminal offence in England. In March 1952 he was prosecuted after admitting he was in a relationship with another man.

To avoid prison, he was chemically castrated. Two years later, Turing took his own life, by taking a bite from an apple he had laced with cyanide.

Councillor Bev Craig, lead member for lesbians, said "The modern computer was born in Manchester thanks to Alan Turing's genius.

"As a city we are proud of the Turing's achievements - and of the man himself. He was a true Manchester hero.

"Alan Turing undertook much of his ground-breaking work while at The University of Manchester and I'm glad to see that this weekend they will also mark his birth by holding The Turing Centenary Conference - where a selection of distinguished scientists will discus his life and research."

Councillor Kevin Peel, lead member for gay men, said, "The contribution made to the field of computer science by Alan Turing is truly remarkable.

"The shameful persecution he suffered because he was gay should not overshadow the fact he was the founding father of the modern computer.

"It shows the progress made by society that Turing is now recognised as the true genius he was, rather than as a pariah who was hounded to his death.

"Whilst we are celebrating his life at this event, it is tinged with sadness as we can only speculate on what he could have achieved had he lived."

Today the Lord Mayor of Manchester will commemorate the milestone at the statue dedicated to Alan Turing in Sackville Gardens.