Problem with Emacs key binding in console mode

I want to use emacs from the FreeBSD console - not within X windows. I am using FreeBSD 10.2 and emacs 24.5.1 which i believe is the latest one since January 2016. I have never had any problems with emacs from past installations, but this time something is different.

If I run emacs and go in to edit a source file, while editing, if I make a mistake and hit the back space button, the key does not work as it should and delete the previous character. Instead, whenever I hit backspace, a menu comes up in a mini buffer and it says "You have hit c-h" the help character. This menu then lists a whole bunch of things that really don't interest me. I can press "q" to escape from this mini buffer and return to my source file, but the problem remains. There is no way of deleting characters with the backspace button.

I am guessing that this is a problem with the default keyboard mapping and am wondering if it is due to a bug / mistake.

But how can I fix this so that hitting the backspace will actually work as it should?
2 seconds of googling on "emacs", "backspace". First hit.