Joan Clarke and Alan Turing Engaged to Marry

In 1992, Joan Clarke (who, by then, was Joan Murray) gave an interview for the BBC TV science series “Horizon.” 

The program, “The Strange Life and Death of Dr. Turing,” is directed by Christopher Sykes and is filled with information about the man people at Bletchley Park called “The Prof.”

In this clip, from that program, Joan talks about her engagement to Alan Turing. Among other things, she says this:

We did do some things together, perhaps went to the cinema and so on, but certainly, it was a surprise to me when he said ... “Would you consider marrying me?"

Working together, in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park, the two had become friends:

But although it was a surprise, I really didn't hesitate in saying yes, and then he knelt by my chair and kissed me, though we didn't have very much physical contact.

There was something else, though, that Alan had to tell Joan:

Now next day, I suppose we went for a bit of a walk together, after lunch. He told me that he had this homosexual tendency.

Naturally, that worried me a bit, because I did know that was something which was almost certainly permanent, but we carried on.

They "carried on," as Joan puts it, until Dr. Turing broke-off the engagement. Although they did not marry, the two remained good friends until the end of Dr. Turing’s life.

With thanks to Christopher Sykes, the full program is online via YouTube.

Media Credits

Embedded clip, from the program described above, online via YouTube with the permission of its director, Christopher Sykes.


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"Joan Clarke and Alan Turing Engaged to Marry" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 20, 2015. Dec 18, 2018.
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