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About The Guinea Pig Club

The Guinea Pig Club was formed in July 1941 to support aircrew who were undergoing reconstructive plastic surgery after receiving burn injuries in the Second World War.

What began with 39 patients grew to 649 by the end of the war and included Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders as well as Americans, French, and Czechs and Poles.

Members of the Guinea Pig Club at Queen Victoria HospitalGuinea Pigs pictured with Sir Archibald McIndoe at Queen Victoria Hospital (Copyright: East Grinstead Museum)

Under the care of surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe, pioneering plastic surgery techniques restored function and gave hope to these young men with life-changing disfigurements.

With his encouragement, the Guinea Pigs did not hide away with their injuries, but instead led full, active lives.

They challenged the existing perception that disabilities were life-limiting and went on to mentor new generations of burns victims, including Service personnel injured in the Falklands, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts.

Four members of The Guinea Pig ClubMembers of The Guinea Pig Club – Jack Perry, Doug Vince, John Miles and Sandy Saunders

Leave a message for The Guinea Pig Club

Join us in thanking the inspiring veterans of The Guinea Pig Club as they mark their 75th anniversary.

0800 169 2942

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