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The history of the Guinea Pig Club, the band of airmen who were seriously burned in aeroplane fires, is a truly inspiring, spine-tingling tale. Plastic surgery was in its infancy before the Second World War. The most rudimentary techniques were only known to a few surgeons worldwide. The Allies were tremendously fortunate in having the maverick surgeon Archibald McIndoe nicknamed the Boss or the Maestro operating at a small hospital in East Grinstead in the south of England. McIndoe constructed a medical infrastructure from scratch. After arguing with his superiors, he set up a revolutionary new treatment regime. Uniquely concerned with the social environment, or holistic care , McIndoe also enlisted the help of the local civilian population. He rightly secured his group of patients dubbed the Guinea Pig Club an honoured place in society as heroes of Britain s war. For the first time official records have been used to explain fully how and why this remarkable relationship developed between the Guinea Pig Club, the RAF and the Home Front. First-person recollections bring to life the heroism of the airmen with incredible clarity.
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This book speaks to two of the most diametrically opposed yet mutually supportive aspects of war: the ability to inflict horrific injury and the ability to heal. Mayhew also includes in her narrative an in depth bibliography and a reading/video list of timely and pertinent on the success of the Guinea Pigs and their continued activities. Mayhew is to be commended on an outstanding addition to expanding our knowledge of an area rarely discussed by historians. Her book should be mandatory reading for all defence members (both civilian and military) and on everyone's history shelf. This book is highly recommended. Airforce Magazine
About the Author:
Dr Emily Mayhew was the featured historian on a new documentary on the Guinea Pig Club, which was screened on BBC2. She was an adviser on an award-winning Canadian documentary about the Club and a consultant on ITV s award-winning drama Foyle s War.
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- PublisherFrontline Books
- Publication date2010
- ISBN 10 1848325843
- ISBN 13 9781848325845
- Number of pages256