BURY Town Hall echoed with applause as an armed forces campaigner, who for nearly 50 years made "an amazing contribution to the borough" was recognised after stepping down from his role organising the town’s Remembrance parades and poppy appeals.

Colonel Eric Davidson, 84, was given a prolonged standing ovation by members of the council and officers as he was presented with a commemorative shield at a meeting of the full council last week.

An emotional Mr Davidson, known affectionately across Bury as "Colonel Eric", said that "the town has made me feel like a son" as he collected the award.

The Mayor of Bury, Cllr Tim Pickstone, said: “Bury is hugely proud of our connection to the military, in particular to the Royal Regiment of Fusilers and tonight we have a opportunity to present an award for the outstanding work Eric Davidson has undertaken including the organisation of the annual poppy appeal and organising our annual Remembrance and Gallipoli ceremonies.

“This does not go anywhere near enough Eric to say what an amazing contribution to the life of the borough you’ve made over the decades.

“The whole borough is hugely grateful for what you have done.”


The Mayor of Bury, Cllr Tim Pickstone, with Colonel Eric Davidson

The Mayor of Bury, Cllr Tim Pickstone, with Colonel Eric Davidson


Colonel Eric is a former chairman of the Fusiliers Association in Lancashire and a director of the Fusilier Museum.

He is also a member of the Regimental Council in Lancashire and the founder and president of the Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire).

He was made an MBE in June 2008 and an Honorary Freeman of Bury in 2015 on his return from Turkey, where he had been with the civic party to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Fusiliers’ landing at Gallipoli.

He was also appointed a Deputy Lord Lieutenant in 2002.

Colonel Eric first became involved with the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in 1948 at the age of 11 when, in his free time and with the aid of his butcher’s pedal cycle and large basket, he would deliver poppies to outlying farms.

He remembers that the poppies on offer were a penny, a sixpenny, a shilling and five bob for a wax car poppy. Originally from the Scottish border town of Jedburgh, he joined the police force in Bolton on completing his national service in 1958.

He settled in Bury in 1963.

He first became involved in planning Bury’s remembrance parade in 1967 while working as accident prevention officer for Bury Police, helping to ensure the route was safe and arranging the necessary highway closures.

In the 1970s Colonel Eric became a Fusilier and worked on the famous Krypton Factor Course at Holcombe Training Camp.

He was proud to wear his hackle on joining the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and still is to this day.

Speaking last year when announcing his retirement Col Davidson, said: “It is with great sadness that I have decided to retire due to ill health.

“At 84 years young I believe it is time also to hand over to a younger person who can take the appeal forward and raise even more money for this very worthy cause.”