The Bank of England has announced that wartime codebreaker Alan Turing is to be featured on the new £50 note.

Turing, who was famously portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, cracked the German Enigma code which was key to the Allies’ victory in World War Two.


The mathematician was chosen from a list of 1,000 potential candidates to be featured on the new note in a move that has been praised by LGBTQ+ activists. Turing will be the first ever person of the community to be featured on British currency, though his story is extra touching.

Following the war, Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts in 1952. The law at the time meant that he could either go to prison, or be chemically castrated. Two years later, an inquest into the scientist’s passing determined the cause of death to be cyanide poisoning, a common way of committing suicide during that time.


In 2013, Turing received a royal pardoning for his conviction of homosexual acts and in 2017, the colloquially known ‘Alan Turing law’ was established, which serves as an amnesty law for men convited of homosexuality in the past.

The new £50 note will go into circulation in 2021.