SEVENTY years of waiting ended on Tuesday when three veterans of Britain’s nuclear programme were given the medal presentation they richly deserved.

It’s a travesty that David Stevenson, Anthony Cooke and Kenneth Roberts had to wait this long get a Nuclear Test Medal, let alone receive it through the post.

The trio were among the 40,000 personnel based on Christmas Island when Britain tested its first atomic bombs in the 1950s.

So Petersfield Town Council and the Royal British Legion wanted to put that right by holding a proper ceremony to recognise and honour the part they played.

The ball started rolling last month when the Post provided Petersfield RBL chairman Cllr Chris Paige with the contact details of the three local recipients of the medal, having run stories about the medal scheme during the summer.

The first medal was presented by Cllr Keith Budden to 93-year-old Mr Stevenson at Eastfield Care House in Liss during the morning.

Mr Cooke, a former meteorologist, and Mr Roberts, who served with the Royal Engineers, were presented with medals by Deputy Lieutenant, Admiral Sir Philip Jones GCB, in Festival Hall.

Friends and a family gathered in the Rose Room for the occasion with Admiral Jones heralding the trio as “fabulous brave souls”.

He said: “I’ve received a few medals at service events like these and a couple came in the post and I remember thinking that’s no way to receive a medal.

“So I was delighted to hear the town council and RBL decided to do it properly.”

Cllr Paige, who deserves much credit for his role in the presentation, said the trio fully deserved the ceremony while the council’s Armed Forces Champion Cllr Lesley Farrow claimed the wait had been too long.

She said: “I think their bravery has been recognised very late.”