Ashworth, Ronald Taylor
Ronald Turner Ashworth was born on 3 August 1911 in Withnell, near Chorley. His father was John Richard Ashworth (b. 1888 in Horwich). In 1911, John was a spinner in a cotton mill but by 1939 he had moved to Chorley and was working in the munitions factory at Euxton. Ron’s mother was Annie Hilton Turner (b. 1889 in Preston). Annie’s father was a grocer who moved to Withnell in the 1890s and when John and Annie were married in 1910 they initially lived with Annie’s parents. Ron was born the following year. John and Annie were living at Southdowns Road in Chorley in 1939. I haven’t found Ron in the 1939 Register, but in early 1944 he married Ada Alice Nelson (b. 1910 in Withnell). Ada’s original maiden name was Bland, as she had previously been married to Alfred Nelson (1913-1938). Ada and Alfred had a son, Alfred Stanley, in 1935, when they lived at 111 Brownedge Road, Lostock Hall. After Alfred snr died it seems Ada and her son lived briefly at 64 Mill Street, Preston where Ada was working as a respirator assembler. When they got married, Ron and Ada lived at 78 Brownedge Road, and Ada later moved to 20 Avondale Drive.
I don’t know when Ron enlisted but we do know from his military records that he served in the Royal Navy Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve, and he was a sick bay attendant aboard HMS Bullen. HMS Bullen was a Captain class frigate named after Captain Charles Bullen of HMS Britannia at the Battle of Trafalgar. She was laid down on 17 May 1943 in the United States but diverted to the Royal Navy and named HMS Bullen before launch on 7 August 1943. She was commissioned on 25 October 1943.
On 6 December 1944, HMS Bullen was torpedoed and sunk by submarine U-775. The torpedo struck midships. This incident happened northwest of Strathy Point, on the north coast of Scotland. Of the crew of HMS Bullen, 71 died and 97 survived. Ron Turner was among the casualties. He was 33 years old.
Rank: Sick Berth Attendant
Service Number: D/S BRX 7068
Unit/Regiment: Royal Navy Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve
Date of death: 06/12/1944
Buried at sea
Commemorated at: PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
Grave Reference: Panel 93, Column 2.
Additional Information: Son of John Richard and Annie Hilton Ashworth; husband of Ada Alice Ashworth, of Lostock Hall, Lancashire.