Home   Newmarket   News   Article

Blue Plaque honour for Newmarket codebreaker

Bill Tutte Blue Plaque
Bill Tutte Blue Plaque

The centenary of the birth of Newmarket-born Second World War codebreaker Bill Tutte is to be celebrated with the unveiling of a Blue Plaque.

The ceremony will take place on May 14, at Fitzroy House in Black Bear Lane, the date and place where Tutte was born in 1917.

The plaque has been organised by members of the Bill Tutte working group, which is also responsible for The Code Breaker memorial sculpture on Rutland Hill which was unveiled in 2014.

Former Cheveley Primary School pupil and graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Tutte was one of Churchill’s secret army of codebreakers stationed at Bletchley Park.

His work, described as the greatest intellectual feat of the Second World War, was to figure out how the Lorenz cipher machine worked without ever having seen it.

The machine encrypted messages sent from Hitler to his High Command and, by being able to read those messages, the Allies were able to alter the course of the war.

After the war, Tutte emigrated to Canada but for decades did not speak of his wartime work. He died in 2002.

Newmarket mayor Cllr Andy Drummond has been asked to perform the unveiling ceremony and invited guests will include members of the Bill Tutte Club, a free Newmarket-based after-school maths and science club, founded in 2013 as an initiative of the Bill Tutte Memorial Fund and backed by Newmarket Academy and Newmarket Town Council, and trainer Michael Bell, who now trains from Fitzroy House.

Journal content editor Alison Hayes, who is chairman of the Bill Tutte Memorial trustees, said: “Over the past few years our group has worked hard first to make sure Bill’s incredible work was recognised and then to see it permanently commemorated in the town where he was born and that he always regarded as home.

“The unveiling of the plaque is another step in that journey.”