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Jack Toper

Admitted to:

Clacton General Hospital. RAF Hospital Ely (02/09/43).

Date of Injury:

31/08/1943

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

22

Cause of Incident:

Enemy Action. Crashed near Clacton in a Wellington shot by enemy fighter on return from ops.

Transferred to QVH:

28/02/1944

Injuries:

Burns to face and hands.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

30



IDENTITY CARD

This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


Forename:

Jack Joel

Surname:

Toper

Service No:

1339515

Nationality:

British


Awards/Honours:

MBE

Patient Unit:

166 Sqn

Profession:

Wireless Op/ Air Gunner

Patient Rank:

Sgt

Death:

March 2019

Age at Death:

97yrs

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

On the way back from an op to Munchen Gladbach (now Mönchengladbach) in eastern Germany, close to the Dutch border, the starboard engine blew at about 16,000ft. They recovered and set course for England, before encountering a German fighter and the coastal defenses. They crossed very low over the North Sea, the single engine struggling. They made it up to 300ft before the port engine burst into flames as they flew over Clacton on the Essex coast. They attempted a landing in a recreation ground but the plane hit a tree and burst into flames. A parachute opened inadvertently in the chaos and delayed Toper's exit.

Took over as editor of The Guinea Pig from Henry Standen in 1982.

Received a MBE in 2004 New Years Honours List for services to people with severe burns.

Glossary:

Further Reading:

McIndoe's Army' By Edward Bishop.
'A New Editor for "Guinea Pig"', Henry Standen, The Guinea Pig, July 1982, pp. 2-3.
'War Heroes Who Became Guinea Pigs', BBC News, 13 November 2001, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1636755.stm .
'Jack Toper, RAF veteran and member of the Guinea Pig club, dies at 97', Daniel Sugarman, The Jewish Chronicle, 3 April 2019, https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/jack-toper-raf-veteran-and-member-of-the-guinea-pig-club-dies-at-97-1.482515 .

References:

'How Your Editor Became a Guinea Pig (By One Who Knows)', Pat Knight, The Guinea Pig, July 1987, pp. 6-7.
'Honours List for Essex', BBC News, 31 December 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/essex/3357299.stm



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2751.125 - Black and white photograph of Toper at a Guinea Pig Club event