Alan Turning

Alan Turning was born in 1912, Maida Vale,London. His father was Julius Mathison Turing 1873-1947 and his job was to do with the Indian Civil Service (ICS). His mother was Ethel Sara Stoney 1881-1976,daughter of Edward Waller Stoney who was chief engineer of the Madras Railways.


Alan's parents took him to a day school at the age of six called St Michael's and early on in his school life his headmistress noticed his talent and many educators of his did too.In 1926, at the age of 13 he went on to Sherborne school, which was an independent school in the market town of Sherbrone in Dorset. Alan's Love for mathematics and science did not earn him respect from some of the teachers at Sherborne. headmaster wrote to his parents saying "I hope he will not fall between two stools. If he is to stay at public school, he must aim at becoming educated. If he is to be solely a Scientific Specialist, he is wasting his time at a public school". Despite this, Turing continued to show remarkable ability in the studies he loved, solving advanced problems in 1927 without having studied even elementary calculus. When the first day of term came around it was Britain's 1926 general strike day and Alan had insisted that he was to go on his bicycle unaccompanied. He rode on his bicycle formore than 60 miles from Southampton to Sherborne, stopping overnight at an inn.


He studied as an undergraduate from 1931 to 1934 at Kings College ,Cambridge, whence he gained first-class honours in mathematics.During the Second World War, Alan was a leading participant in the breaking of German ciphers at Bletchley Park. The historian and wartime codebreaker Asa Briggs said, "You needed exceptional talent, you needed genius at Bletchely and was that genius was Alan ."From September 1938, Alan had been working part-time with the GC&CS,the British code breaking organisation. He concentrated on cryptanalysis of the Enigma, with Dilly Knox, a senior GC&CS codebreaker.Within weeks of a arriving at Bletchely park, Alan had specified an electromechanical machine that could help break the Enigma code even more effectively than the Polish bomba kryptologiczna. Using this method Alan managed to crack the Enigma code.In 1936 Alan received a Smith's prize,1951 an FRS and at a later date an OBE.


Unfortunately life grew short for Alan as he passed away on the 8th of June 1954. But he will always be remembered as the code cracker of the Enigma.

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