Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Saturday. 1pm to 4pm Sundays. FREE Admission

Rebuilding Bodies and Souls

Our ‘Rebuilding Bodies and Souls’ flagship exhibition opened in 2016, the 75th anniversary year of the foundation of the Guinea Pig Club

This project tells 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 had been the wish for nearly 70 years:

“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 have created a lasting legacy for the 649 members of the Guinea Pig Club, of which there are 14 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 engages, connects and inspires 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’.

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