THE MAY 2008 ISSUE OF MEDAL NEWS IS NOW ON SALE! MEDAL NEWS is the world's only magazine devoted to medals and battles. The May edition, out now and available from newsagents and our website, has many interesting features this month:
with WDYTYA running alongside Military History Live and Archaeology Live—all under the banner of The National History Show. Why they’ve done this can only be guessed at but one assumes the decision is commercial with them being able to appeal to a wider range of dealers by branding the event more specifically—after all, if you are a medal dealer then attending Military History Live may well have more appeal than simply attending a family history show and we are sure that many of our readers will agree. From our point of view we’re not so sure. The main reason for us attending was to get to new people and we fear that the military branding may turn a lot of people off—well over 60 per cent of the visitors to our stand last year were women and that isn’t something you see at many fairs we attend—if we are in the military section we worry that that figure may drop quite significantly.
This inevitably has got us thinking and we have begun to question more and more exactly where medals fit within the overall history genre. Certainly there’s a military element that we cannot ignore, and nor would we wish to, but aren’t medals more than that? They aren’t, surely, to be seen in the same way as a rifle, bullet or shell casing, simply a memento of a long forgotten battle, are they? As the tangible record of a person and his or her service they must be more than just another collectable and whilst I don’t doubt that many of our readers also hold a great interest in and love of other military related items I can’t help but think we probably have more in common with the family historians than the bayonet collectors. I may be jumping the gun of course, the Military History Live show is taking place in the same hall as WDYTYA and it may well be that everyone visits every stand and that the overall “history” branding is stronger than the constituent parts. If that isn’t the case however, then it will be back to the drawing board for us and a bit of soul searching as to just where this hobby of ours, and this magazine, should be positioned. Are we a military hobby or an historical research one? In an ideal world we’d considered ourselves a little of both but if this experiment of bringing the two together doesn’t work then maybe it will be time to choose. Organisations like the OMRS have already made their stand—they aren’t a military related society but concerned with research, we brand ourselves as the magazine devoted to medals and battles, the military inference being obvious. Where, I wonder, do you see yourselves? Let us know, I think there’s a question that needs answering here and we’d like your views.