Queer Places:
Sherborne School, Abbey Rd, Sherborne DT9 3AP, Regno Unito
Christ Church Churchyard Catshill, Bromsgrove District, Worcestershire, England

Picture of Christopher Collan Morcom (July 13, 1911 – February 13, 1930) was born on July 13th, 1911. He attended Sherborne School as a Scholar in the Summer term of 1925. He at once made his mark as a boy of outstanding intellectual gifts. He could have done well in other subjects, but Mathematics and Science attracted him most of all, and to these he added an unusual knowledge of Astronomy. He won an Open Scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge in December 1929, and was to have gone into residence in October 1930, but early in February 1930 he was suddenly attacked again by an illness for which he had a severe operation three years before. He faced the unexpected danger with the uncomplaining courage which was a part of him. He was taken to London and it was hoped that the attack would pass off. A relapse led to two operations, and this was too much for his strength. He passed away peacefully at noon six days after the blow fell.

While attending Sherborne School, sixteen-year-old Alan Turing fell in love with his schoolmate, Christopher Morcom, who died unexpectedly of bovine tuberculosis at the age of nineteen. Socially inept, Turing exhibited symptoms of autism, and Morcom had brought him out of his shell. Grief stricken following Morcom's death, Turing spent the next few years studying the question of how the human mind might survive death – Morcom's mind in particular. This research led to the study of quantum-mechanical theory and ultimately to the concept of thinking machines. He went on to study at Cambridge but moved to the U.S., where he earned a doctorate at Princeton (1938). He later became a specialist in the field of cryptanalysis. Actor Jack Bannon portrayed Christopher Morcom in the 2014 film The Imitation Game.

Morcom lies near the home he loved so well in Worcestershire. Funeral service was held on February 15 1930 at Catshill. Turing visited Chris’topher's “grave” in August 1930. He was buried at dawn with the darkness all behind him – though there was no darkness in this life save the pain of his illness. Great as were his intellectual gifts, they were more than equalled by the charm of his nature. To know him was to love him for his modesty, his kindness, his own great love of happiness and laughter and his stainless character. Those who had the privilege of knowing him intimately will preserve a memory of even more than this with an abiding thankfulness for four or five years of friendship.

Larger memorial image loading...
Posthumous portrait of Christopher Morcom by Norman Hirst, 1930

My published books:

See my published books