THE FOUNDER of the Blackburn branch of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regimental Association was laid to rest yesterday at a military funeral.

Jim Eaves, who died on October 2, aged 89, had a Union Jack draped over his coffin along with a wreath, his army beret and medals from serving across Europe.

Standard bearers silently looked on as his coffin was taken into Pleasington Crematorium.

Jim, who lived in Heys Close, Blackburn, set up the association in 1990 after placing an advert in the Lancashire Telegraph and was its chairman until his death.

He got the idea after taking to regimental friends and wanted to bring others from former East Lancashire Regiment and Duke of Lancaster Regiment together.

A Dunkirk veteran, he also saw service in Caen and Falaise in France, Antwerp, and Hertogenbosch in Holland.

After leaving the Army, he worked in a series of jobs including at an open-cast coal mine in Padiham, as a bin man in Blackburn and as a boiler room manager at the Royal Ordinance Factory in Blackburn.

He and wife Margaret had seven children: the late Jim, Jack, Frances, Robert, Pauline, Tony and Stewart.