Letting us know

August 2005, Volume 43 No. 7
In this month’s magazine you will find a questionnaire that we are asking all readers to fill in, we’ve done this once before, back in 1998 and got an excellent response we’re hoping we’ll get the same this time. Of course in those intervening seven years the world has moved on, the “Big Brother” fantasy is for many of us becoming a reality and it seems nothing is private any more. Through swipe cards our supermarkets know our buying habits, our garages know how much petrol we use and our off licence knows our drinking habits, we can’t walk down the street, any street without appearing on half a dozen or more security cameras, the internet sites we visit send out cookies or “spyware” to log our “activity”. Our email addresses and phone numbers are known by thousands, our in-boxes are full of for just about everything and anything you can imagine and our answer phones are jammed with messages from double-glazing salesmen from Delhi or telling us “we’ve been selected” to receive a prize. Every time we try to do anything – from take out a loan to buying a magazine subscription we are bombarded with requests for more information about ourselves – information is king. So why on earth would you want to fill in another questionnaire in MEDAL NEWS?!

Well the answer to that one is easy, information is obtained by companies for two reasons, either to make their product more suitable to their market or to sell the information on to someone else. At MEDAL NEWS we only have an interest in the former. You may have noticed recently that the magazine has got bigger (for those who haven’t noticed we’ve added an extra eight pages in every month bar June/July and December/January when you now get 16 pages more!), had a bit of a face lift (our “new look” front cover has been very well received) and is moving forward, we want to make sure it’s going in the right direction! Our readers are very important to us and we want to ensure we are publishing a magazine which you want to read – there’s no point in continually publishing articles on one subject if no-one is in the slightest bit interested and conversely we might well be inadvertently ignoring subjects which many of our readers would like covered. So now is your chance to tell us what you think, let us know what you want to see in your MEDAL NEWS, tell us what you don’t want to see too. If you love the News and Views but hate the Market Scene – let us know. If you want to see less World War I and more on the Boer War - let us know; if you want to see more on Foreign Awards and less on gallantry – let us know! Only by finding out what you really want can we give it to you!

Of course the benefits for us and you are obvious but perhaps a survey like this could be further reaching too – with the advent of the internet and the “armchair” collector the close–knit community of the medal collecting world is being fragmented and the hobby is going through something of a sea-change we know how many magazines we sell, know roughly how many collectors there are out there and love to meet those that we do – but they are only the tip of the iceberg, the same faces seen at the same shows - through talking to them we have a good idea of what they want but they are only a minority and we’d like to hear from the rest of you.

Now is your chance to voice your opinion, now is your chance to have you say – and please do do so – after all if you just sit back and think to yourself that someone else will represent your interests then you may well be disappointed – after all if every collector of Long Service Medals leaves it to someone else to write in then we could well find that this survey shows that our readers only collect World War I Gallantry or Victorian Africa Campaigns– and suddenly you will find your magazine filled with articles concentrating just on them leaving your subject completely out in the cold The only way to ensure that articles and adverts that interest you stay in the pages of MEDAL NEWS is to tell us just what they are.

And please don’t worry, this isn’t our way of turning into Big Brother, we won’t sell on or giveaway your information – the overall findings may be published and we will definitely use them to shape the way the magazine sis heading but no individual’s records will ever be made public!

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In This Issue

Spotlight15
Heroes of Scone:X
Cut down at Paschendale
Background18
Comment from a Cape frontier
Keeping order in the colony
Casebook22
Reuniting an old soldier's medals
Adding the final touch
Profile24
A just reward
A story with a happy ending
Did you know....?25
That the VC has been awarded....
Gallantry of the highest order
Insight27
The Glorious career of Alexander Sukolov
Russia's most famous soldier
Collector's Notebook31
The 24th Foot:An expensive option
Comparing prices
Badges34
The Essex Regiment
The early years
Heroes37
The grief of the Alcantara
A fierce sea battle
Research File40
Is this my man?
A question of Identity

Regulars

The Editorial page5
News and Views6
Market scene11
Letters to the Editor43
Stop Thief44
Dealers' Lists45
Medal tracker46
Classified Advertising49
Diary53
Questionnaire54