Medal News

Volume 43, Number 2, February 2005

Don't Miss out

Volume 43, Number 2, February 2005

Don’t Miss Out I make no apologies for using this month’s Editorial as a blatant plug – a plug for what I consider to be one of Token Publishing’s most useful services to the medal world. No, not the Auction sales review, the Calendar, the classified advertising or indeed the Medal Yearbook but rather the Medal Tracker service and more specifically the newly revamped! If of course you have no single medals in your collection at all, no broken groups and no medals you’d happily see reunited with others from the family, even if they don’t stay with you, then I shall accept that this month’s Comment doesn’t interest you at all and will, hopefully, provide something next month that will catch your eye. However for the 99% of our readers to whom this service is of relevance I urge you to read on. Essentially the Medal Tracker service is there to either reunite broken groups or to let the interested party know of the whereabouts of a medal and it DOES WORK! Many people are cynical about the effectiveness of such a service, stating that there are simply too many medals floating about to ever have a chance of finding the ones you are looking for, but that simply isn’t true. In his two years of collecting our Marketing Manager Philip has been able to personally reunite no fewer than fourteen items from his collection with other medals/items that belonged with them – he has put together family groups, located “lost” singles for his collection, has reunited a grandson with his Grandfather’s Medals and, most recently has managed to track down ephemera, paperwork etc belonging to a soldier whose medals he owns. How has he done this? Quite simply by keeping his eyes and ears open, he has studied dealers’ lists, checked the internet auction sites and dealers’ websites, has trawled the fairs and with at least five of these successes, including the most recent “ephemera” find, has made use of the Medal Tracker (in this last case it was the reader with the paperwork who was searching for the medals and who submitted the entry – not Philip). If he is able to make use of these services, if he’s able to track down lost medals or help others to do the same then so can you – to trace your medals all you need to do is fill in the form at the back of the magazine and send it in to us – it really is that simple and if you’re a subscriber it’s absolutely free. Space constraints do mean that we can only keep the entry in for two issues but don’t worry, before it’s due to expire simply send in another form with the same details – we’ll keep running the entry for as long as you keep sending forms in; what could be easier? Well actually one thing –! By going on-line you can now add details of the medals/recipients etc yourself – and your entry will stay on the website until the medal(s) are found, the service still costs a nominal £5 but it can be done quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home, you even pay on-line through our secure server – no more having to remember to post the forms off! Of course the tracker service is very much reliant on readers not only to post the medals they are looking for on the list but also to come forward when they have any that might be listed. It seems that often there is an element of reluctance when it comes to admitting ownership of any medals – “What if they had at some point been stolen?” “What if I get embroiled in family politics and am forced to give up the pride of my collection?” “What if the person looking for the medals knows something I don’t (like maybe my man is entitled to an MC won during a VC action and I’m not aware of it)?” Well it is of course possible for any of these things to happen (in the latter case shame on you for not researching your collection properly!) but it is also extremely unlikely – in the years I’ve been editor we’ve never had a case of anyone “demanding” medals back, there has never been any nastiness and whilst there have indeed been cases of the family seeking medals they thought lost years ago these are always positive, not negative things to report. And don’t forget the Tracker service is anonymous. We have had numerous cases of collectors wanting to remain nameless but willing to pass on their knowledge of the whereabouts of a medal – in some cases the person searching will then write a letter via this office explaining their interest and occasionally the reader has indeed given up the medals (usually when it is the family of the original recipient searching for them) but there is never any obligation to do so, often the searcher just wants to know where the medal(s) are and so there’s never any ill feeling if the present owner decides to keep them in his collection. So next time you’re looking forlornly at those broken groups remember the Medal Tracker- it’s there to help – but remember it too for other reasons. Now we are promoting the service within the Family History/Research hobby there’ll be more people than ever looking for Great-Granddad’s medals, maybe just maybe they’re currently residing with you.

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