OLD soldier Terry Evans has finally received his commemorative medal for service in Malaysia – 45 years to the month since his return home.
The 64-year-old of High Meadows, Greetland, saw front-line action in Borneo in the 1960s.
He was already the proud owner of a campaign medal given to those who spent time in the firing line.
But, it was only in 2005 the Malaysian Government sought approval to award the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal to veterans for “distinguished chivalry, gallantry, sacrifice, or loyalty” in contributing to the freedom of independence of Malaysia.
Despite the delay he is glad his efforts have been finally recognised.
“But it is a bit sad that 45 years later they decide to honour you,” he said.
“The medal does unearth a can of worms you have got deeply buried, but saying that, you always think of those who did not make it back.”
Mr Evans, a retired sales manager who also ran a property management company in Menorca for several years, joined the Royal Navy a week after his 16th birthday in January 1963.
He was an aircraft technician with the Fleet Air Arm and 12 months later volunteered and was accepted as a Naval Air Commando. He served with the 848 Naval Air Commando Squadron on the aircraft carrier HMS Albion.
From 1964 to 1966 Mr Evans regular ran helicopter sorties into danger.
“We came under fire but it all happened so quickly,” he said.
“It was a harsh learning curve for a youngster from Halifax.”
He and his wife Susan spent their silver wedding in the region 18 years ago which enabled him to pay his respecst to those who didn’t return.
“I would like to return again,” he said.
Around 100,000 troops served in the Malayan Emergency between 1948 and 1960.
Nearly 2,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers died in the conflict which led to the emergence of the independent democratic nation of Malaya.
The 1962-1966 Borneo Indonesian Conflict involved troops from Australia and Britain. Of the 30,000 who fought, about 500 troops lost their lives.