Track and trace WE WERE rather surprised this month to receive just 12 new entries for our “MEDAL TRACKER” pages. The service, which is entirely free for subscribers has always proved popular in the past and has, over the years, helped reunite groups across the globe. I’ve even used it successfully myself, reuniting some ephemera I bought at a medal fair with the man’s medals (they’d actually been sold separately by the dealer, we’ve since had words!). The reason that MEDAL TRACKER within the magazine has been slowly attracting fewer and fewer entries is simple—the online version, at www.medaltracker.com, is gaining in popularity all the time, we have thousands of medals listed on there now and regularly get enquiries in relation to them (MEDAL TRACKER both on-line and in the magazine is completely anonymous, everything comes through us in the first instance, although we can, and do, put people in touch with each other if both parties agree). That people are still searching for medals isn’t the problem, we know they are from the response to the on-line service, but we do understand that whilst the website is monitored and each entry has to be approved at our end (you wouldn’t believe the number of people who take the time to fill in the on-line form for Corporal Mickey Mouse, or his ruder, cruder equivalent, haven’t people got anything better to do?) people still realise it’s quicker than the monthly magazine and, of course, entries are on there forever, unlike the ones in the magazine that are only renewed once by us before you have to send them in again. However, we are also aware that one of the biggest reasons for people not sending us physical medal tracker forms for inclusion within the magazine quite as much as they used to is the hassle factor. It’s much easier to go on-line and fill in a form than it is to photocopy or scan the magazine (or, heaven forfend, actually cut up your MEDAL NEWS) and even once you’ve done that you then have to find an envelope, find a stamp, find a post box and physically post the entry to us (that’s after you’ve found our address!). In the past envelopes and stamps were part of every household, today not so much. Part of this is, I’m certain, because the cost of stamp is nearly the same as the cost of a Victory medal these days (not really, but don’t get me started on the Royal Mail’s business plan of losing customers hand over fist to electronic mail formats and other postal companies and then penalising those who remain loyal to them by hiking prices every few months, it makes no sense at all). In short people don’t write to us like they used to, not physical letters anyway (emails we have aplenty) and the lockdowns certainly didn’t help with people unable, or unwilling, to leave the comfort of their homes to post a letter. This being the case we would like to formally announce that the form in the back of the magazine is no longer a necessity for MEDAL TRACKER, nor is a physical letter. You can, if you so wish, email us the details of the medal(s) you are seeking and we’ll put the entry in (completely free if you’re a subscriber). We will still have to set a limit of three separate entries per reader (an entry is a recipient, not a medal, you can search for as many medals to a recipient as you so wish) but as long as we have something in writing that’s fine (we cannot take telephone entries I’m afraid, we need you to put the info down in writing so that we know it’s right!). We hope you’ll take us up on this offer, we don’t want to see MEDAL TRACKER disappear from the magazine altogether, the service has been part of MEDAL NEWS for decades and it would be a shame if it went on-line only—and please, even if you don’t make use of it to find medals yourself, do check it out (and the website too) from time to time. Who knows, someone out there may well be searching for medals you have in your collection, medals you may yourself wish to reunite. After all the person seeking them may well be happy to part with their piece of the “puzzle”, it doesn’t have to be you who gives something up does it? A quick glance at MEDAL TRACKER now and then could prove very fruitful indeed, or at the very least, you may be put in touch with someone who shares your interests. What have you got to lose? Please email your MEDAL TRACKER entries to Jayne@tokenpublishing.com thanks.