Not Mid Cheshire, but close by in Wilmslow, we find the home of the man whose face now graces our new £50 notes. Alan Mathison Turing OBE, FRS.

To commemorate this honour, I will give an insight into his abuse, life, and death.

As I sit at my computer, I consider the person mainly responsible for this machine, a man described as the father of computer science and who lived and died at Adlington Road in Wilmslow.

This man was Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS, who in 1999 was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.

This was for his role in creating the modern computer; the article stated: “The fact remains that everyone who taps at a keyboard, opens a spreadsheet or a word-processing program, is working on an incarnation of a Turing machine.”

Northwich Guardian:

In 2002, Turing was ranked 21st on the BBC nationwide poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

Equally, and some would say, more importantly, he was the driving force behind the ‘Bombe machine’ that cracked the German Enigma code when he was based at Bletchley Park during the war.

This man was perhaps Wilmslow’s most notable resident; he resided there from the late 1940s after being appointed Reader in the Mathematics Department at Manchester (now part of The University of Manchester).

In 1949, he became Deputy Director of the computing laboratory at the university and worked on software for one of the earliest stored-program computers known as the Manchester Mark 1.

During the 1950s, homosexuality was a criminal offence; Turing was gay and accordingly was treated appallingly.

He had a liaison with a man called Murray, who later burgled his house.

He went to Wilmslow police station and reported the burglary.

At the time, the police considered the report, then arrested Turing!

He was himself charged with gross indecency under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, the same crime for which Oscar Wilde had been convicted more than fifty years earlier.

He later appeared in court with Murray and was given a choice between imprisonment or probation; the latter was conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment to reduce libido.

He accepted chemical castration via oestrogen hormone injections!

Murray was given a conditional discharge.

This resulted in his security clearance being removed and general persecution.

His consultancy with GCHQ was revoked, and he was banned from entering the USA.

By 1954 he had suffered enough, and on June 7, he allegedly committed suicide in his Wilmslow home by taking a bite out of an apple laced with potassium cyanide; his cleaner found his body two days later.

In death, he has received the accolades he should have been given in life, and there are many of them.

Northwich Guardian:

The blue plaque outside his home in Wilmslow

In 2004, a blue plaque was placed on the house in his honour and a road and bridge named after him in Manchester.

The apple was never forensically tested, but it was assumed that this was the vehicle that carried the poison. (Apple computers have denied that their logo of an apple with the bite out of it is a tribute to Turing).

At the inquest, a verdict of suicide was passed, but this was later disputed. He had a machine that used cyanide in the experiments he was working on; this was in a small room in his house. The later suggestion was that he had accidentally inhaled cyanide from it as his demeanour before death was said to be okay.

On December 24, 2013, Alan Turing was given a complete pardon and an apology for the treatment he received to include his conviction.