Alan Turing

Alan TuringGetty: Images

WWII hero Alan Turing has become the first gay man to appear on the British currency

The Bank of England has announced that a new 50-pound-note will enter circulation this week and will have Turing's face on it.

Turing is a hero of WWII and is well regarded all over the United Kingdom, so it makes sense that he has been commemorated in this way.

The new note features a mathematical table and formula from Turing’s foundational 1936 paper and a drawing of the computing machine Turing first developed during WWII.

Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, explained the decision to use Turing's image on the note. He said "Our banknotes celebrate some of our country’s most important historical figures. That’s why I am delighted that Alan Turing features on the new polymer £50 note. Having undertaken remarkable codebreaking work here at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, he went on to pioneer work on early computers, as well as making some ground-breaking discoveries in the field of developmental biology. He was also gay and was treated appallingly as a result. Placing him on this new banknote is a recognition of his contributions to our society, and a celebration of his remarkable life.”

Turing famously designed a coding machine called the "Bombe" which was hugely useful to the Allied Forces and helped them win the war.

While Turing did receive plaudits during his life, he was hugely discriminated against due to his sexuality. 

Turing was arrested in 1952 for having a relationship with another man and subsequently took his own life two years later.