Letter:Medal that missed a mint

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The Independent Online
IN commenting on the British Legion's position of "sponsoring" the unofficial "National Service Medal" produced by a private company, Jeremy Lillies missed an obvious and interesting point.

He states: "the 65,000 medals sold at £24 each have raised around £141,000 for the Poppy Appeal". This gives an approximate gross income so far of £1.3m (excluding VAT) without, one assumes, considering the substantial extra income from the sale of the related miniature medal for which he gives no information.

Based on a more than realistic production and administrative cost of £10 each for the full-sized award, the total costs can be estimated at £650,000. These figures show it is not the Legion that has been the main beneficiary from the sale of this medal.

With its financial base, organisational ability and enthusiasm for this idea, it is a pity the British Legion/Poppy Appeal Fund did not design and manufacture the medal with assistance from one of the UK medal manufacturers. This would have enabled the legion to use all the substantial profit for the Poppy Appeal while giving veteran members the chance to purchase the medal at a more favourable price.

John B Hayward Polstead, Nr Colchester