Code cracking war hero inspires former John Port student to tackle extreme fitness challenge to aid dementia research

A code cracking Bletchley Park war hero who sent vital information to British agents working behind enemy lines has inspired his grandson to tackle an extreme fitness challenge and raise funds for research into dementia. Derby-born teacher Ed Brindley will swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles then run a 26.2 mile marathon, all in just one day, in a challenging triathlon. He’s aiming to raise at least £1,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, as his beloved grandfather Charles suffered from dementia in his final years.

The 29-year-old, a former pupil of John Port Spencer Academy, has been accepted as part of the Alzheimer’s Research UK fund-raising team taking part in the Outlaw Triathlon at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham, on July 25. The event starts at sunrise with a swim, followed by the bike ride across Nottinghamshire and then the race around the city centre.

Cheering him on will be dad Noel, who lives in College Mews, Derby, mum Diane Jeffery from Church Broughton, and brother Jon from Hilton.

Ed grew up unaware that during World War II his grandad Charles was a Royal Signalman linked to Bletchley Park, home to the Colossus and Enigma machines. Ed, who grew up in who grew up in Etwall, Mickleover and Hatton, now teaches PE at Formby High School in Merseyside. He said: “We didn’t know anything about my grandad’s work at Bletchley Park until his mum’s diary was discovered. It was amazing to learn what Grandad did in the war – he never spoke about it”.

“He died in July 2007 aged 80. It seemed a perfect way to honour his memory with this ultra triathlon and to help research into this awful condition. Dementia affects so many families: it’s not just older people as I’ve become aware that people of any age can develop dementia and it is hard for their relatives. Dementia took away the opportunity to really say goodbye to my grandad. It affects families everyday. Alzheimer’s Research UK is trying to find a cure to diseases that cause dementia so this doesn’t keep happening.”

Ed is already more than halfway to his £1,000 target thanks to donations from friends and family.

Julia Sobik, Head of Sporting Events at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia affects a significant proportion of the population – one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of the condition. That is why we are determined to help scientists discover new treatments and find ways of tackling the diseases that cause dementia, but we can’t do this without the support of our wonderful fundraisers.”

Ed’s JustGiving page for his Outlaw Triathlon Challenge in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK is at

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit

Left: Charles Brindley as an 18-year-old after signing up to the Royal Signals Corps (copyright Brindley family)


Right: Teacher Ed Brindley, who is taking part in the Outlaw Triathlon Challenge in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK