Launching into Autumn

September 2002, Volume 40 No. 8
Unbelievably autumn is upon us once again and, with the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS) convention later this month (Saturday September 21), the “season” well and truly gets under way. Convention time has always traditionally seen the launch of our acclaimed MEDAL YEARBOOK and this year will be no exception. The 2003 edition is better than ever with all prices, for full size and miniature medals, carefully checked and revised in line market movements as necessary; a number of new medals included in the main body of the book and a number of new ribbons added to make ours one of the most comprehensive ribbon charts ever; new sections on the medals of Singapore, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and of course the updated index to MEDAL NEWS magazine itself – invaluable for any one doing research or building an archive. Once again a hardback version will be available but this always sells well – so order your copy early.

The MEDAL YEARBOOK always proves popular at convention but this year’s OMRS also sees the official launch of three more eagerly awaited “Token Titles” – two of which, By Grace of the Lord of the Realm and Those Who Dared, are already available and selling extremely well. The first title is the full roll of recipients (Indian as well as British) of the Medal struck to commemorate the Delhi Durbar of 1903- the title of the book being taken from the English translation of the Farsi motto on the reverse of the medal. It is the first time this roll has been published in its entirety and is set to become a “standard work” for anyone interested in the unique relationship between Britain and India in the days of the Raj. The second new book is a list of the Gallantry awards to the Special Air Service and attached units of the Special Boat Squadron from 1941-46 – information collated for the first time and, in many cases, not found elsewhere. Included in the work are a number of the citations and recommendations relating to SAS or SBS awards – they make fascinating and incredible reading. Two very different books appealing to different sections of our hobby but both essential for those whose collecting interests they cover. They retail at £12.95 each and will be available from us at the OMRS or via mail order by phone, fax or our website.
The third book will not be available until convention and is the latest work by Alan Stanistreet (author of ‘Gainst all Disaster and Brave Railwaymen). Entitled Heroes of the Albert Medal this new title covers in depth all the service recipients of that beautiful award for saving life on land or sea. It is an often overlooked fact that the Albert Medal is a very high ranking decoration on a par with the George Cross; indeed in 1949 the Gold (first class) Award ceased and was replaced by the George Cross and in 1971 all living recipients of the medal (either class) were invited to exchange their awards for the George Cross should they wish to do so, 49 out of the 64 eligible did. Because of its association with the George Cross the Albert Medal is often considered to be a purely civilian award, this book sets that record straight as it looks at the deeds of all those from the armed forces who received the decoration (and who did survive to exchange it for the GC) and is a vital new work for anyone interested in the Albert Medal or Gallantry in general. It is profusely illustrated with many of the pictures and portraits coming direct from recipients’ families and therefore having never been published before. It will retail at £19.95 and will, after the OMRS, be available through the usual mail order channels.

We have a number of other titles in the pipeline too and whilst they will not be ready this autumn we do have them planned in for 2003 and 2004 so watch this space for, amongst others, further works on the later awards to the SAS/SBS; the story of the Honourable East India Company and its medals; Civilian recipients of the Albert Medal and numerous other rolls including the 1911 Durbar and 1935 Jubilee. Full details of these and all our other new titles will of course be published here in MEDAL NEWS first so keep reading!

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Launching into Autumn
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In This Issue

Heroes14
Saving the guns
Maiwand, Afghanistan july 27 1880
Insight17
World War II campaign medals to American Commanders
Challenging the principles of British Medal Policy
Spotlight19
The Plaque in the garage
A Story of corage behind a memorial plaque
Background23
Pacific Islanders at War
The Fijians, Samoans and Tongans in World War II
Badges24
Badges of the South Wales Borderers
Regimental badges of the Noble 24th
On the fringe29
Snapshot from the past
A postcard gives a poignant account of war
Profile31
No Fear of Flying
A Pilot Officer who paid the Ultimate Price

Regulars

The Editorial page5
News and Views6
Market Scene11
Bookshelf35
Readers' Letters36
On Parade37
Medal tracker38
Classified Advertising40
Dealer's Lists43
Calendar44