Reconstruction of Warriors: Archibald Mcindoe, the Royal Air Force and the Guinea Pig Club

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Overview

The history of the Guinea Pig Club, the band of airmen who were seriously burned in airplane fires, is a truly inspiring, spine-tingling tale. Before World War II, 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 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 honored 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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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The aerial battles of World War II produced many casualties suffering from severe burns, for which there was inadequate preparation. Previously, the death rate for such injuries had been high, but Dr. Archibald McIndoe utilized new plastic-surgery techniques to mend the injured fliers. With RAF support, he established a special hospital at East Grinstead (now the Queen Victoria Hospital) in the south of England and used what we would call holistic methods to treat their emotional as well as physical scars. He recruited the nearby citizenry to create a therapeutic social environment for the men. This well-documented work contains many excerpts from accounts of those who were a part of this groundbreaking effort. The author, whose mother was a nurse at the hospital, was the historical consultant for the BBC documentary The Guinea Pig Club (the nickname given to McIndoe's patients). An inspiring story about the good that people can accomplish in rough situations; suitable for all collections.-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853676109
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/4/2004
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.63 (h) x 0.87 (d)

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