Work starts on memorial to WW2 codebreaker

Work is due to start in Newmarket for a memorial for Bill Tutte - whose work was once described by Winston Churchill as ‘the greatest single intellectual feat of the Second World War’ - on Rutland Hil.

The works are due to last for 10 weeks with an opening ceremony taking place on September 10.Rutland Hill will be closed for the duration with the access from Palace Street. The current one way order will be cancelled for the works. Two way traffic lights will be in place for three weeks out of the 10 at the junction with the High Street during this period.

Tutte’s significant contribution to the war effort went unknown until the mid-1990s, because of fears for national security. It is now known that Tutte cracked the German Lorenz cipher (nicknamed Tunny), a machine with 1.6 million billion combinations used by the German military to transmit top secret messages between its headquarters. Tutte and his colleagues at Bletchley Park are credited with shortening the war by as much as two years.

Graham Newman, cabinet member for roads, planning and transport said: “I am pleased that the works to build this memorial will start shortly as it was clear that local residents wanted to honour Bill Tutte for the national contribution he made during the Second World War.

“This will be a fitting memorial built in Rutland Hill with an attractive public space created to host public performances, occasional market days and a feature memorial of Bill Tutte.”

The Newmarket memorial, designed by sculptor Harry Gray, incorporates cryptic and subtle references to Bill Tutte and his achievement. The principal feature of the memorial is an array of five brushed stainless steel panels, approximately 7 ft. tall and perforated to resemble punched paper tape, symbolising the medium in which Lorenz coded messages were transmitted. When viewed from one particular direction, Bill Tutte’s features appear in the pattern of holes. This suggests the unique approach he took to the problem of solving the Lorenz code.

There will be access to all properties and businesses in the area. Access will be maintained for pedestrians and cyclists.