Concept

Guinea Pig Club

Summary
The Guinea Pig Club, established in 1941, was a social club and mutual support network for British and allied aircrew injured during World War II. Its membership was made up of patients of Archibald McIndoe in Ward III at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, Sussex, who had undergone experimental reconstructive plastic surgery, including facial reconstruction, generally after receiving burns injuries in aircraft. The club remained active after the end of the war, and its annual reunion meetings continued until 2007. Name The name "Guinea Pig" – the rodent species commonly used as a laboratory test subject – was chosen to reflect the experimental nature of the techniques and equipment used for reconstructive work at East Grinstead. The treatment of burns by surgery was in its infancy, and many casualties were suffering from injuries which, only a few years earlier, would have led to certain death. The hospital was nicknamed "the Sty". Origins The club was estab
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