The history of the Guinea Pig Club, the band of airmen who were burned in airplane fires, is a truly inspiring, spine-tingling tale.
Before the Second World War, plastic surgery was in its infancy. The most rudimentary techniques were only known to a few surgeons worldwide.
The Allies were tremendously fortunate in having Archibald McIndoe, possibly the world’s foremost surgeon, operating at a small East Grinstead surgery, 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 and the RAF. He rightly secured his 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 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.
"It has been described as the most exclusive club in the world, but the entrance fee is something most men would not care to pay and the conditions of membership are arduous in the extreme." Sir Archibald McIndoe.
Published by: Greenhill Books
Price: £18.99 plus £1.89 post and packing
You can buy this book online from the Greenhill Books website.