The 54-year-old actress found out her grandfather lobbied Minister of Health Aneurin Bevan to hold talks about forming a national health service, but his application to join the NHS was rejected when it was eventually formed in 1948.
Speaking on ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, she says: “I find that really sad because he was really fighting for everybody and kept persisting, had that brilliant CV and they say, ‘No sorry, no room at the inn’.
“Even though he did not then get a job with the new NHS, his work helped influence the development of the National Health Service.”
Her grandfather, Henry Richard Jones, attended to those injured in the Navy early in the 20th Century, before returning to work for Neath and District Medical Aid association and then the South Wales and Monmouthshire Alliance of Medical Aid Societies.
An obituary in a regional paper described him as “a legend in his own lifetime” in medical circles, and Ruth could not have been prouder of her late relative.
She says: “Good on you, grandfather. You gave back to life and helped a lot of people.”
The ‘Gavin and Stacey’ star believes it was fate that her grandad was rejected as he would never have moved away to Porthcawl if he was offered the job, and her father would never have met her mother.
According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, she adds: “I am a big believer that there are reasons why stuff happens. If he had got a job with the NHS he may never have left Neath and moved to Porthcawl. My dad would not have met my mum and I wouldn’t be sitting here now.”