Ashworth, Francis
Ashworth, Francis

Francis Ashworth was born on 20 August 1911. His parents were then living at 20 Cromwell Street, Preston. Frank’s father was Richard Ashworth (b. 1874 in Preston), a cotton weaver. His mother was Annie Anderton (b. 1881 in Clifton with Salwick, Lancashire). Richard and Annie were married in 1907, at which time they appear to already have had two children out of wedlock – Richard (b. 1902) and Grace (b. 1906). They then had three more children: Margaret (b. 1909), then Frank, and finally John (b. 1920). Annie died in 1931, and in 1939 Richard, Frank and John were living at 27  Morgan Street in Preston. Frank was a second man on a motor lorry.

In the spring of 1940, Frank married Margery Woods Poole (b. 1914 in Lostock Hall). The Poole family had lived at 121 Watkin Lane (where Margery was born), but by 1939 they had moved to 87   Brownedge Road.

Frank joined the Army and was posted to the Pioneer Corps. The Pioneer Corps was responsible for light engineering work (the heavy stuff going to the Royal Engineers). The Pioneers could be used as combat troops but their more normal tasks included building anti-aircraft emplacements on the Home Front, working on the Mulberry harbours for D-Day, and serving during beach assaults in Franceand Italy. Pioneers also carried stretchers, built airfields, repaired railways, and moved stores and supplies.

Ashworth, Francis

Typical work for the Pioneer Corps

I don’t know if Frank served abroad but he died of pulmonary tuberculosis at Brinscall Pulmonary Hospital in Withnell on 19 June 1944, aged 32.

Rank: Private

Service Number: 2938773

Unit/Regiment: Pioneer Corps

Date of death: 19/06/1944

Age: 32


Grave Reference: Old Portion. Grave 19/48.

Additional Information: Son of Richard and Annie Ashworth, husband of Margery Woods Ashworth, of Lostock Hall.

Ashworth, Francis