Live updates

Light spectacular pays tribute to Alan Turing

Alan Turing light spectacular Credit: Stephen King.

Tonight there will be a special tribute to Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing on Salford Quays. Two of the most powerful lasers in the world will beam out 'thank you' in morse code two miles into the sky in recognition of the Wilmslow mathematician.

Turing was a mathematical genius and the father of the modern computer, much of his ground breaking work was conducted at The University of Manchester.

Artist Craig Morrison created ‘Thank You’ in memory of all the men and women who served in the First and Second World War, and to thank Alan Turing for the many lives he helped to save.

The light show will take place for the next week and will form the centre-piece of this year’s Manchester Histories Festival.

  1. National

Turing's 'distress' letter sent to friends before conviction

A letter sent from Alan Turing to his mathematician friend Norman Routledge shows the codebreaker's worries and "distress" ahead of pleading guilty to gross indecency in 1952.

An excerpt from the communication is printed on the website Letters of Note, citing a Turing biography by Andrew Hodges.

I've now got myself into the kind of trouble that I have always considered to be quite a possibility for me, though I have usually rated it at about 10:1 against.

I shall shortly be pleading guilty to a charge of sexual offences with a young man.

The story of how it all came to be found out is a long and fascinating one, which I shall have to make into a short story one day, but haven't the time to tell you now.

No doubt I shall emerge from it all a different man, but quite who I've not found out.

Glad you enjoyed broadcast. Jefferson certainly was rather disappointing though.

I'm afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.

Turing believes machines thinkTuring lies with menTherefore machines do not think

Yours in distress,

Alan

– Letter from Alan Turing to Norman Routledge

Advertisement

Campaigner 'very happy' about Royal pardon

Campaigner William Jones, who began the petition to give Alan Turing a Royal pardon in 2011, has said he is "very happy" about today's news.

Talking about the Royal pardon, he said:

"This is fantastic for Alan Turing - but this is not the end of the story for the gay, lesbian and bi-sexual people who were convicted in similar cases.

For them, the campaign continues."

– William Jones, campaigner

Wilmslow WW2 code-breaker Turing receives pardon

Alan Turing

Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon.

The mathematician from Wilmslow was convicted under homophobic laws in the 1950s.

Turing saved thousands of lives through his code breaking work in the Second World War.

Dr Turing, who died aged 41 in 1954 and is often described as the father of modern computing, has been granted a pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the Queen following a request from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

For more, read: Centenary of the local inventor of the modern computer

Advertisement

Calls for the PM to pardon Alan Turing

The Prime Minister faced questions today on whether the conviction of scientist Alan Turing will be reversed.

The late mathematician from Wilmslow is widely credited with creating the world's first computer as well as breaking Nazi codes during the second world war. Turing was convicted under homophobic laws in the 50s.

David Cameron says he will look at a possible pardon.

  1. Anglia

Pardon would be 'final cleansing of the wrong' done to Turing.

The Cambridge mathematician Alan Turing who saved thousands of lives through his code breaking work in the Second World War, is expected to be given a parliamentary pardon.

Turing, who was prosecuted and convicted over his homosexuality in the 1950s, has already received a posthumous apology.

The MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, says a pardon would be 'a final cleansing of the wrong' done to Turing, as Alistair Nelson reports.