Both local interest and time-critical, this one …
Historic court files revealing the details of World War Two enigma codebreaker Alan Turing’s convictions for homosexual behaviour are to go on public display for the very first time.
The story of Alan Turing’s vital contribution to the Allied campaign during World War Two was brought to life in the film, Oscar-winning The Imitation Game. And now, the record of what followed in Cheshire’s courts is available for public viewing.
Recognised by many for his role in helping crack the Enigma code, Turing took his own life after undergoing experimental chemical castration following a conviction for gross indecency in 1952 after he admitted a sexual relationship with a man.
The sentence was eventually repealed and Turing was given a posthumous Royal Pardon after a major campaign in 2013.
The official court documents provided by Cheshire County Archives list the charges, pleas and sentences passed on Turing during his trial in Knutsford and they will be on public view at Chester Town Hall from this Friday (September 23) until Sunday, October 9.
The files are being displayed ahead of this year’s Chester Pride festival, which starts on October 1, and they form part of a new heritage project called ‘Pride in the Past’, which aims to tell the story of Cheshire’s LGBT communities over the last 2,000 years.The Turing display marks the start of the year long project which will see volunteers conduct an exhaustive search of historic records in Chester for other individuals put on trial for their sexuality, with their names and stories recorded and remembered in a commemorative event in 2017.
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