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  • John Miles
    "The Club will go on until the very last one of us finishes his journey's end"

    At 88 years old, John Miles is the only remaining post war Guinea Pig. In 1951, John was on a basic training exercise when the Harvard he was flying crashed and caught fire. Due to the nature of his injuries, John was treated at East Grinstead Hospital, where he met Sir Archibald McIndoe.

  • Alan Morgan with wife Ella
    "They christened me 'Fingers' because I had none!"

    Alan 'Fingers' Morgan will never forget his 21st birthday. It was the day that would change his life forever and set him on course to become one of McIndoe's Guinea Pigs.

  • Doug Vince
    "I remember my mother coming into the ward and asking which one is my son"

    Doug Vince was 22 when his Stirling Bomber was shot down by a German aircraft. He suffered extensive burns when he freed himself from the wreckage and was subsequently treated at East Grinstead Hospital by Sir Archibald McIndoe.

  • Sandy Saunders
    "There was a mirror on the wall and I was just horrified by what I saw"

    Sandy Saunders was just 22 years old when his aircraft crashed and caught fire in World War Two. Sandy miraculously freed himself from the wreckage and was subsequently treated at East Grinstead Hospital for severe burns across his face and body.

  • Plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe
    The pioneering plastic surgeon who restored the minds and bodies of Allied aircrew

    Born in New Zealand in 1900, Sir Archibald McIndoe was destined to be a gifted and talented surgeon. By the outbreak of the Second World War, there were only four fully experienced plastic surgeons in Great Britain – Sir Archibald being one.
     

  • Image by Guinea Pig Magazine 1983
    The Guinea Pig Club: a lasting legacy

    The Guinea Pigs were a unique band of RAF airman who paid a heavy price while serving for their country during the Second World War. Sometimes burned beyond recognition, with life-changing injuries, they battled disability and discrimination to go on to lead fulfilling lives.

  • The Guinea Pig Club enjoying a break at the RAF Benevolent Fund's respite care home
    Standing shoulder to shoulder with The Guinea Pig Club

    Since The Guinea Pig Club's founding in 1941, the RAF Benevolent Fund has stood shoulder to shoulder with the airmen who were so badly disfigured during the course of the war, providing welfare and financial assistance when needed.

  • East Grinstead statue
    The town that didn't stare

    Crucial to the recovery of many of Sir Archibald McIndoe's Guinea Pigs was the ability to walk freely into the local community without fear. Many had suffered horrific burns and disfigurements but Sir Archibald was determined that these young airmen would not be hidden away from public gaze.
     

  • Aston Martin Cambridge limited edition V12 Vantage S
    Aston Martin Cambridge supports the RAF Benevolent Fund with limited edition V12 Vantage S

    To mark the 80th anniversary of the Supermarine Spitfire's first flight, Aston Martin Cambridge has commissioned a limited edition collection of eight V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80 models.

    Press Release

  • Desmond O'Connell
    "They asked my mother where they should bury me"

    Flying Officer Desmond O'Connell was just 19-years-old when he joined the RAF as a Volunteer Reserve before the war started. Aged 21, his unit was sent to sink the Bismarck, a mission that would see him become one of the founding members of The Guinea Pig Club.

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