“One day someone will tell the complete story of Ward III in the way it should be told….”
“The Maestro’s Message” by Sir Archibald McIndoe in the Guinea Pig magazine, April 1948
We are delighted to have secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to tell the story of the birth of reconstructive and plastic surgery in East Grinstead during the Second World War through the eyes of the patients and the medical professionals involved, as has been the wish for nearly 70 years:
We will create a lasting legacy for the 649 members of the Guinea Pig Club, of which there are 32 surviving, who, after sustaining life-changing war injuries, were rebuilt, body and soul, by the internationally renowned surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe and his dedicated team at the Queen Victoria Hospital. This legacy will engage, connect and inspire our community, students, historians, RAF personnel and volunteers, reigniting a sense of pride and place for East Grinstead, affectionately known as ‘the town that didn’t stare’.
The Rebuilding Bodies and Souls project will enable us to share the amazing stories of the Guinea Pigs with a local, national and international audience. New website with resources. New learning programme on site and resources online. New permanent display In 2016, the 75th anniversary year of the foundation of the Guinea Pig Club, and also the 10th anniversary of East Grinstead Museum opening in its Cantelupe Road premises, we feel this project is a fitting legacy for this remarkable history.
** New Opportunity **
Rebuilding Bodies and Souls Research Volunteers needed
We are looking for people who are keen in researching the information and preparing the artefacts for the new Rebuilding Bodies & Souls exhibition. Read our role description for further details. Click here to find out more about the Rebuilding Bodies & Souls project.