Peter Hilton was a racy raconteur, and his favourite Turing story concerned the Home Guard.
The authorities quaintly insisted upon the Bletchley analysts doing soldierly work in their spare time.
The heads of sections were exempt, but Alan conceived a passion for becoming proficient with a rifle, which amazed Harry Golombek, who after two years in the army had no such enthusiasm.
Alan enrolled in the infantry section of the Home Guard, and to do so
had to complete a form, and one of the questions on this form was: 'Do you understand that by enrolling in the Home Guard you place yourself liable to military law?'
Well, Turing, absolutely characteristically, said: 'There can be no conceivable advantage in answering this question “Yes”' and therefore he answered it 'No'.
And of course he was duly enrolled, because people only look to see that these things are signed at the bottom.
And so ... he went through the training, and became a first-class shot.
Having become a first-class shot he had no further use for the Home Guard. So he ceased to attend parades.
And the officer commanding the Home Guard eventually summoned Turing to explain his repeated absence. It was a Colonel Fillingham, I remember him very well.
This was perhaps the worst that he had had to deal with, because Turing went along and when asked why he had not been attending parades he explained it was because he was now an excellent shot and that was why he had joined.