Charles Brindley, who lived in Blackpool, is on the Bletchley Park roll of honour for his highly accurate code-cracking skills during the war.
Charles was picked to join the elite Special Communications Unit Number 1 at Whaddon Hall, Bletchley – HQ for MI6’s section VIII operations during the war and the forerunner of today’s secret service.
He was responsible for supplying crucial details on German strategy to Allied commanders and agents in the field. Code-named Ultra, the information was credited as helping to end the conflict early.
Charles later served in Palestine, probably transmitting secret encoded signals using Morse code.
After being demobbed he worked in Preston for the English Electricity Company, which made electrical equipment, before returning to his home town of Blackpool where he became head of security at Blackpool Winter Gardens, Opera House and Tower in the 1970s and 80s.
Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, HQ of the Allied cryptopgraphers during WWII and where the German ‘Enigma’ and ‘Lorenz’ codes, both considered unbreakable, were deciphered. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
He was responsible for shielding stars of the day from over-zealous fans plus protecting politicians from potential IRA attacks.
Charles Brindley in his later years. Photo: Brindley family
He died in July 2007 aged 80 and it was only after Tommy’s death that the family discovered this secret history.
It was only after reading the diary after his death that the family discovered their Grandad was at Windy Ridge, a wireless station at Whaddon Hall, named Station X in 1939, which was linked to Bletchley Park.
The family did some research and found out Grandad passed encoded messages to high-ranking officers and spies in the field in Europe to inform them of German operations which had been discovered by the teams cracking the German transmissions.
Charles is also on the Bletchley role of honour, which you can see when you go into the museum there and online.
Charles went on to be head of security at Blackpool Winter Gardens and Tower, and his son remembered they had a phone line installed at home in the 70s because the Tower repeatedly got IRA bomb scares. Charles would have to get out of bed in the night and go down to check the place was safe.