A Baxenden war veteran has finally been honoured for his service in Malaysia in the 1960s.
Brian Kitchen was just 18 years old when he was posted there in 1962.
And over the next three years he and fellow troops from 12th Light Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, served in Tampin (Malaya), Kuching (Borneo) and Singapore.
The ‘Malayan Emergency’ began in February 1948 with terrorist attacks by Communist guerrillas on Europeans in Malaya.
The communist force fell apart in 1960, after 12 years of jungle warfare.
In 1962, Malaysia began a conflict with Indonesia over the future of the island of Borneo. This lasted until 1966.
Mr Kitchen, 68, of Collins Drive, was one of many men who served in the conflict who were only ever given a General Service Medal by the British Army.
But in 2005, the Malaysian High Commission decided to thank Commonwealth troops.
Britain was the only country to decline the medal, but after campaigning by the North Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association (MBVA), the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal has now been presented to former servicemen by Brigadier Tajri Alwi, the Malaysian defence attache to Britain at a ceremony at Fulwood Barracks, Preston.
Mr Kitchen was joined at the medal presentation by his wife Kath, who he married on his return from the conflict in 1966.
He said: "It was a great day and great to be honoured for my service.
"My time in the confrontation is something I’ll never forget.
"I joined the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Artillery at Blackburn aged 15 and finally left the Army in 1982. I must have enjoyed it as I then did a further five years in The Sultan of Oman’s Air Force."
When Mr Kitchen left the forces, he returned to Accrington, and went on to become executive director at the Rossendale Valley Training in Rawtenstall.