I burn 2 Franco-Belge stoves which are about 20+ years old. They should be quite similar to your Surdiac. For the first time this year, I tried starting the fire with road flares, matchlight charcoal, propane torch, and MAPP torch. No luck.
The only way I have ever been able to start a fire in my stoves was by first starting a hardwood fire and establishing a good bed of wood coals. While I'm building up the wood fire, I'll sprinkle in a handful or so of pea coal. Once I have a base of hot coals I add more pea coal, being careful not to smother the base. Once I see those beautiful blue flames dancing around the firebox, I'll fill up the hopper and I am set for the season.
During the entire process, the air inlet knob is turned up to the max and the ashbox door is wide open to increase airflow.
Don't close the glass door when the wood fire is flaming as it will cover the glass with soot/creosote. Triple up some aluminum foil and cover the firebox opening. You can also fabricate a cover from sheetmetal. Size it so as to more than cover the opening. A 90 degree bend on the top will allow it to rest on the top lip of the opening. A knob, hook, or handle will make it easier to manuever. It can get rather HOT so use gloves and/or a tool. Once your fire is up and running, don't forget to close the ashbox door and set the air flow dial to the desired setting; you don't want to overfire the stove.
I think the reason why we have no luck with the other methods of starting the fire is that the "Girlie Men" run stokers which have combustion fans feeding air into the fire. Our stoves work on natural air flow and that just isn't enough unless we start with a wood fire.
Be patient and before long you'll be enjoying a hot cup of tea by a hot fire. Good luck!