The Second World War produced a unique band of heroes: a small international group of men that were uniquely celebrated and lauded for their remarkable courage. The group was the so-called Guinea Pig Club, the band of airmen who crawled from burning aircraft but suffered the worst imaginable burns and crash injuries. The 647 survivors included British, Canadian, Czech and Polish airmen. Before the war, no one had anticipated airmen would survive mid-air fires. Consequently, provision for their care was virtually non-existant. Their rehabilitation was placed in the hands of one plastic surgeon named Archibald McIndoe at a hospital in East Grinsted, in the south of England. McIndoe quickly 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 patients a place in society as Allied war heroes. The Canadian government was so impressed with his work that it funded a Canadian Wing at the hospital.
For the first time official records have been used to fully explain how the patients were injured, treated, then paraded as heroes. Using gripping first-hand accounts, Emily Mayhew paints a genuinely-moving picture illustrating incredible courage and triumph.
Publisher: Greenhill Books
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 531 g
Dimensions: 161 x 243 x 23 mm