Ash with his on-screen sister, Billie

Spoiler alert! This article contains information from this week's Home and Away episodes. Stream the latest episodes right here.

Earlier this year, kiwi actor George Mason confirmed his impending exit from the show. His final scenes as Martin “Ash” Ashford went to air this week, and we’re already feeling the loss. 

Joining the show back in 2014, Ash was hot-tempered and secretive. But as he came to terms with his criminal past, he began to warm up a little. The residents soon accepted him into the tight-knit Summer Bay community.

Ash found happiness with musician Phoebe Nicholson, and later with Constable Kat Chapman, but both of those relationships broke down. 

Losing his sister Billie to lung cancer, just weeks after the birth of her daughter, marked the beginning of a heartbreaking year for Ash. 

Ash’s niece Luc was soon whisked away to Cyprus with her foster father, leaving Ash at a loss. Shortly after, Kat was killed in a car accident, while pregnant with Ash’s child.

It was too much for Ash to bear, and he suffered a minor breakdown, fleeing the Bay and refusing the help of his friends. 

Things were starting to look up for Ash recently though. He was part-owner of the Summer Bay Garage alongside his friend Justin Morgan, and his romantic relationship with Tori Morgan was starting to strengthen. 

However, in the end Ash decided that Summer Bay held too many painful memories, and he bought a one-way ticket to Cyprus. 

Tori refused to accept his decision at first, insisting he’d change his mind. “I’m done saying goodbye to him,” she stubbornly told Justin. She couldn’t face him riding off into the sunset and leaving her behind. 

The whole Bay was shaken by the announcement, and sad to be seeing Ash go. His friends threw him a surprise party at Salt, to see him off and wish him well. 

Not one for speeches, an emotional Ash thanked them all for being there for him. “Even when I was going off the deep end, you always welcomed me right back. It’s good to know that so many people have got my back.” 

Ash and Tori's emotional farewell.

Ash knew that moving forward was his only choice, even if it wasn’t easy saying goodbye. Driving past the Summer Bay sign for the last time, on the road out of town, it seemed for a split second he might change his mind.

Meanwhile Tori swallowed her pride and chased Ash down for one final farewell. She knew she’d regret it for the rest of her life if she didn’t. Catching up to him on a country lane, she ran into his arms. “Go make new memories, and remember that I’ll always love you,” she told him through her tears. “Goodbyes are too hard, I’ll see you around."

“You're the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ll see you around, Tori Morgan,” Ash replied, finally departing with a passionate kiss. 

Tori isn’t the only one who will miss Ash. A fan favourite among Summer Bay fans, we know things won’t be the same without him.

Farewell Martin Ashford.

Home and Away continues Monday-Thursday at 5.30pm on TVNZ 2. Stream the latest episodes right here.

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