Shortly before his death in 1985, Gordon Welchman wrote: “The stories of Alan Turing’s life and mine have two things in common. First, we were regarded by our boss as the two greatest contributors to the wartime success of Bletchley Park. Second, we had been banded as security risks. What has happened to me can be compared with what happened to Alan Turing.”
The story of Bletchley Park is nowadays well known; how a brilliant group of men and women, of whom Alan Turing is nowadays considered the foremost, broke the German codes.
Turing’s tragic story, persecuted as a security risk on account of his homosexuality after the war and eventually committing suicide, is common knowledge. Two years ago, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, only added to the legend.
And yet Gordon Welchman’s contribution to the codebreaking effort – which many say shortened the war by as much as two years – was easily as important, and Welchman, too, would find himself persecuted as a suspected security risk in his final years.