Banknote for gay hero who had been castrated in World War II

The UK has put into circulation from today a £50 note featuring the face of Alan Turing.

Turing was a mathematical genius who had been instrumental for England to break the Enigma Code, through which the Germans communicated during World War II.

Although Turing had been considered a hero by many, he had been treated like a criminal because he was gay.

He had also been found guilty of a relationship with a 19-year-old youth and had been chemically castrated instead of being imprisoned.

Turing died in 1954 at the age of 42 after ingesting poison, and an inquiry concluded he had committed suicide.

Over the years Turing had become a symbol of the fight embarked upon by the LGBTIQ community to be accorded the same esteem as others.

Turing was pardoned in 2013 and the pardon was extended in 2016 to all gay persons found guilty because of their sexual inclinations.

Peter Tatchell, one of the main spokesman in favour of rights for gay persons, described Turing as an icon of the LGBTIQ community.

Tatchell stressed that the fact Turing has ended up on a UK banknote shows that LGBTIQ persons are being accepted by society.

A film about Turing, “The Imitation Game”, was released in 2014 with actor Benedict Cumberbatch interpreting the main role.