Friends and family say goodbye to Arnhem war hero Ron Ashmore
FUNERAL SERVICE Veterans form a guard of honour at St Peter’s Church, Belmont. Below, veterans from the Parachute Regiment
A FAMILY has paid tribute to a popular Belmont war hero who had a kind word for everyone.
Friends, family and fellow war veterans yesterday said goodbye to Ronald Ashmore at St Peter’s Church in Belmont. He died on August 30, aged 99, at Mill View Care and Residential Home.
Well known and respected, Mr Ashmore had been a sergeant in the 7th Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, 1st Airborne Division and had fought at Arnhem in Holland in 1944 — one of the Second World War's most ferocious battles.
His daughter Freda Martin said: “He was the finest and most caring father who always did the best for his family. He was a very well respected man. I never knew him to be angry or heard him swear. Even in the army, he never got angry. He loved those lads and they loved him too.”
Born in 1914, Mr Ashmore lived in Belmont all his life — apart from when he was away for six years during the Second World War — and was married to Mary. They had two children, Freda and Doreen.
Mrs Martin, aged 78 from Bromley Cross, added: “Dad grew all of his own vegetables and kept hens for more than 60 years at his allotment.
“All the children and staff and Belmont Primary School loved him. We’ve had so many people get in touch with us — we’ve had people in Holland send their condolences. It has been overwhelming.
“He developed Alzheimer’s three years before he went into the home but he still knew my sister and I up until the end. We used to talk to him about the all of the grand kids, great grand kids and even great great grand kids and what they were all up to, which he loved.”
Before and after the war, Mr Ashmore had worked as foreman at the Belmont Bleach Works.
But he remained passionate about his military past up until his death and was a member of the Bolton Branch of the Parachute Regimental Asso-ciation.
He also returned to Arnhem every year up until 2008 to commemorate the historic battle.
Mrs Martin said: “It was strange for me as a child because I didn’t know him. We always knew he loved us.
“I remember the Christmas in 1944 and mum received a telegram saying dad had been injured in action. Mum was worried to death but when we got home, there he was waiting for us. He had been shot in his leg when he escaped from Arnhem and said there were so many other people who needed attention, he came home.”
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