Blue plaque commemorates code breaker Bill Tutte’s centenary

Fitzroy House stables, Black Bear Lane..unveiling of Bill Tutte blue plaque by Newmarket Mayor Andy Drummond

Picture Mark Westley
Fitzroy House stables, Black Bear Lane..unveiling of Bill Tutte blue plaque by Newmarket Mayor Andy Drummond Picture Mark Westley

The centenary of the birth of Newmarket-born codebreaker Bill Tutte was celebrated by the unveiling of a special blue plaque on Sunday.

The plaque is mounted on the wall outside Fitzroy House, in Black Bear Lane, where Bill’s parents William and Annie worked as gardener and house keeper and where Bill was born on May 14, 1917.

Educated at Cheveley primary school and the Cambridge and County High School for Boys, now Hills Road Sixth Form College , Bill went on to study at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Such was his mathematical genius and aptitude for puzzle solving that in 1941 he was recruited to be part of Churchill’s secret army of codebreakers at Bletchley. It was there he was to crack the Nazis’ most impenetrable cipher, Lorenz, which helped the Allies to bring World War Two to a quicker conclusion.

Unveiling the plaque, Newmarket mayor Andy Drummond said: “Today we acknowledge the debt we owe Bill Tutte. Newmarket is rightly proud of being the Home of Horseracing, we should be equally proud of what Bill Tutte did for his country and the world.”

Also at the unveiling were members of the Bill Tutte group Alison Hayes, Rachel Wood, Mick Jefferys and Richard Fletcher who organised the plaque and young members of the Bill Tutte Club. They were also joined by trainer Michael Bell, who lives at Fitzroy House.