A FORMER doctor who volunteered in Africa and worked with refugee children in Kosovo has died, aged 88.

Dr Ronald William Turner was a GP in Clacton for nearly 30 years.

He was chairman of the town hospital’s medical committee and elected president of Colchester Medical Society in 1996, becoming a life member in 1999.

After retiring from general practice, he worked as a ship’s doctor on numerous voyages over 20 years.

In 1998 and then again in 1999, he experienced two three-month assignments as a voluntary worker in Uganda.

He was based at a small country hospital and spent time in HIV clinics.

He also worked with refugee children in Kosovo, looking after those suffering from lead poisoning after being housed at a camp built on a disused lead mine.

Dr Turner, who lived in Connaught Close, Clacton, went to school in Yorkshire and studied at the University of Leeds Medical School.

He was a medical officer in the Royal Navy from 1959 to 1962 and served in the Falkland Islands.

He was a GP in Clacton from 1965 to 1992 and a partner at Ranworth Surgery, in Pier Avenue.

He was an active supporter of Clacton Hospital, carrying out minor surgeries and working in casualty before it closed down.

After retirement, Dr Turner did many locums in practices around Clacton and north-east Essex and worked until he was 84.

In his spare time, he was an avid sailor and a prominent member of Clacton Sailing Club for 30 years.

He lectured and ran courses on sail training and was a qualified Royal Yachting Association instructor.

He often sailed across to Holland and completed many other trips, included a trans-Atlantic voyage.

Dr Turner remained an active sailor up until his last three months and, soon after his retirement in 1992, and to fulfil a boyhood dream, he and friend Graham sailed his Dutch yacht Ald Gillis from Clacton to the Bingley five-rise locks, in West Yorkshire - a total of 265 miles.

The object of the trip was to experience the canals he had enjoyed as a boy in Rodley and Saltaire.

He was also an enthusiastic skier until late in life, regularly travelling to Austria and Italy, and an active private pilot frequently flying from Clacton airstrip.

Dr Turner died peacefully in hospital, eventually succumbing to bronchopneumonia.

He had three sons Paul, Mark and Julian.

He also leaves life partner Gill Godwin, with whom he spent 40 years.

Mrs Godwin has three children of her own - Christopher, Susan and Angela, who Dr Turner also cared for.

In later life he loved being master of ceremonies, gathering the family for any occasion with more than 25 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in attendance.

Dr Turner was a dedicated medical professional, always willing to help in almost any circumstance.

Due to current circumstances, a celebration of his life will be planned for some time in the future for his large network of friends and colleagues.