England’s oldest family butcher has made a big donation to this year’s Poppy Appeal following the theft of a collection pot in Bridport.

RJ Balson and Sons has stepped forward and donated to the Royal British Legion to help replace the money lost from a Poppy Appeal collection pot stolen from the post office ahead of Remembrance weekend.

The amount of money donated has not been disclosed but was described as 'substantial'.

As reported by the News, the collection pot was stolen on Tuesday October 31, leaving staff angered that someone could do such a thing.

Richard Balson has been running the butchers on West Allington for 55 years and explained why he felt he needed to donate.

Mr Balson said: “I was very saddened to hear of the theft, the volunteers do such a good job.

“My father and all my family fought in the war, so it is close to my heart, and we go to the parade in Bridport every year.

“I felt I had to donate the money to help.

“The amount of people who come into the shop to say what a good thing it is has been nice.”

Mike Thompson is a volunteer for the Royal British Legion and helps to coordinate the Poppy Appeal in Bridport. He was presented with the donation by Mr Balson outside the butcher’s shop.

He said: “Following the stolen poppy collection box from the post office, Richard Balson our local family butcher has made a substantial donation to replace the lost collections.

“I would personally like thank Richard for his generous gesture. These vital funds are vital for vulnerable serving and retired veterans and their families.”

Mr Balson added: “I can’t say enough about how people like Mike and all the volunteers give their time to stand in the cold and collect money – they do a fantastic job.”

The Royal British Legion is the country’s largest Armed Forces charity, with 180,000 members, 110,000 volunteers and a network of partners and charities.

It uses the donations to help current and former military personnel helping to give support wherever and whenever it’s needed.

To donate visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/ways-to-give/donate