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Thomas Walter Brandon

Admitted to:

SSQ. RAF Hospital Ely (18/11/43).

Date of Injury:

18/11/1943

D.O.B/Age when admitted:

17/11/1921 (22)

Cause of Incident:

Crashed in a Halifax on return from ops.

Transferred to QVH:

15/08/1944

Injuries:

Burns to hands.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:

16



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:

Thomas, Walter

Surname:

Brandon

Service No:

1320713

Nationality:

British


Awards/Honours:

---

Patient Unit:

192 Sqn

Profession:

Air Gunner

Patient Rank:

WO

Death:

2012

Age at Death:

---

Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:

Notes:

Born in Sutton, Surrey.

Joined the RAF in 1941 as an air-crew volunteer.

On return to base, Brandon's Halifax overshot the runway and hit the trees at the end, exploding. Brandon passed out and was thrown from the wreckage. When he regained consciousness he tried to unzip his burning jacket but was unable to due to severely burnt hands. He also sustained a fractured pelvis and injuries to the lower spine. He was taken to RAF Ely Hospital where he learnt he was the only survivor of the crash, from a crew of eight. Six months later, he was transferred to QVH by McIndoe.

Glossary:

SSQ - Station Sick Quarters

Further Reading:

'Tommy Brandon Remembers - Marchwood Blanc-Mange', The Guinea Pig, Christmas 1950, pp. 45-6.
'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, Christmas 1966, pp. 30-1.

References:

'How I Became a Guinea Pig', The Guinea Pig, July 2000, p. 29. (From Surrey Herald, 22 July 1999).



East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2751.65 - Portrait photographs of five Guinea Pigs, including Brandon
EGRTM 2773.271 - Group photograph from an Annual Reunion
EGRTM 2773.279 - Photograph of Brandon and others at The Swan, 1949.
EGRTM 2773.334 - Photograph of Brandon and Allaway, Marchwood Park, 1946.
EGRTM 2773.349 - Photograph of Brandon and others, Lepe Beach near Calshot, Hampshire, 1946.
EGRTM 2773.358 - Group photograph at the Burns Unit, Ely Hospital, Christmas 1943.
EGRTM 2785.24 - Group photograph including Brandon and Lady Connie McIndoe, 1963.
EGRTM 6548.5 - Programme for Brandon's memorial service, May 2012.