Edinburgh firefighter recognised as 'Britain's bravest'

EWAN Williamson was last night named Britain's bravest firefighter after he died tackling a blaze in an Edinburgh pub.

The Spirit of Fire Awards 2010, held at Wembley Stadium, London, saw awards presented to firefighters and members of the public for showing courage.

Rebecca Williamson, Ewan's sister, accepted Ewan's award for the country's bravest firefighter. Falklands hero Simon Weston presented the award. Tearful Rebecca said: "I wish he was here, but he's not, so I'm very proud to pick it up on his behalf."

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Ewan, 35, died last July during a fire at the Balmoral Bar in Edinburgh's Dalry Road.

Twenty people were rescued from flats above the pub as he fought the blaze below.

More than 15,000 people took to the streets in the pouring rain to honour him at his funeral in Edinburgh last year.

Firefighters from every force in the UK lined the streets on 22 July as his body was driven through the city before a special service in St Giles' Cathedral.

The award for firefighter-of-the-year was won by Simon Hawkins, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, who returned to duty despite losing a leg in a motorcycle accident in 2004.

Last night's ceremony, organised by the Fire Fighters Charity, was attended by fire crews, their families and celebrity guests, including former London mayor Ken Livingstone and television presenter Esther Rantzen.