TRIBUTES have been pouring in after the death of Bury's Colonel Eric W. Davidson MBE.

Colonel Eric died early Thursday morning aged 84 after suffering with cancer.

The honoured gentleman, known throughout the town is being commemorated and remembered as one of Bury’s "greatest, nicest, gentlest, finest and loyal men".

Following the news, those who knew him, and whose lives he touched, have remembered his work for them, for the town and his smile and sense of humour.

Cllr Tim Pickstone, the Mayor of Bury, said: “This is terribly sad news, and our deepest sympathies go to his family, friends and loved ones.

“Colonel Eric, as everyone knew him, was a leader and a role model for us all. He was a stalwart of Bury and a proud champion of the Fusiliers and all armed forces veterans, which led to him being awarded the Freedom of Bury and receiving an MBE.

“He was a true gentleman, liked and respected by everyone he met. It was a pleasure to present him with a commemorative shield in March in recognition of his work, and be reminded of the immense contribution he made to our borough and its people. He will be greatly missed.”

Eric settled in Bury in 1963, and began planning Bury’s remembrance parade in 1967 and continued to do so for almost half a century.

He worked as an accident prevention officer for Bury Police, helping to ensure the route was safe and arranging the necessary highway closures, became a member of the Regimental Council in Lancashire, the founder and president of the Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant in 2002.

In June 2008, he was made an MBE 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.

The Fusiliers Museum also shared their tributes saying: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Colonel Eric Davidson MBE, DL.

“Colonel Eric has been a key supporter and trustee of this museum for the last 25 years. We owe so much to him for his continued support, guidance and friendship over the years and he has undoubtedly played a fundamental role in our success.

“He is also well known for his contribution to the Regiment and the Army Cadet Force which during the last five decades he served as an officer in 5RRF and as Deputy Commandant for Lancashire and Merseyside ACF.

"We must also not forget his part in the success of The Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) which he founded in 1997.

“We all have so many happy memories of Colonel Eric which we will treasure forever but the museum and the town of Bury will not be the same without you!

“We will all miss you Eric, your smile, your humour, your support but most of all just you. Thank you for everything!"

MP for Bury North, James Daly, also shared a tribute via Facebook, commenting: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lieutenant Colonel Eric Davidson.

“Colonel Eric has been a stalwart of our town for many decades and is best known for the organising of the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

“My thoughts and I’m sure of everyone’s in Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington are with Colonel Eric’s family at this extremely sad time.”