“The best bunch of lads possible”: Anthony Antunovich and his war time photography

It is often the most unexpected searches that lead one down a rabbit hole. In my recent search for a suitable image for Canada Day (i.e. the anniversary of Canadian Confederation on the 1st July 1867) I came across and – in a phrase – fell in love with two photograph albums which had recently been catalogued under PH 29950 and 29951. The albums cover a short period in the life of a naval pilot during the Second World War through photographs of his friends, his training, and his travels.

Stories from the Surgeon’s Table

By Jennifer Mason, Assistant County Archivist (Collections Management) Acc 14373 - Guinea Pig Club Christmas Magazine, 1948: Drinks with McIndoe! ‘The entrance fee is something most men would not care to pay and the conditions of membership are arduous in the extreme’ These words from renowned plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe describe the famous Guinea…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 8 – Sussex Cinemas

PH 30788/112 - The Olympic Theatre in Chichester occupied what is now a warehouse on Northgate. Defining the first ‘film’ to be shown in West Sussex can be tricky. Nowadays, many of the earliest films put on display would be the equivalent of our modern-day computer gifs – short in length, no sound, and playing…

VE Day in West Sussex 8th May 1945 – Part One: an Overview

By Martin Hayes and Alan Readman As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day, not only do we wish to celebrate that day, as best we can during this challenging period, but also we remember and give thanks to all those who served, died and suffered, overseas and at home, in the Second World…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: a day in the life of a Preservation and Digitisation Assistant

  My name is Lucy Maguire, and I worked on the Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project as a Preservation and Digitisation Assistant between August 2016 and September 2017. As the title suggests, my job was broken up into two main parts but within each there was a wealth of surprises, which made every day its own unique…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: ‘Women in the Wings’

The history of Queen Victoria Hospital and the Guinea Pigs can often seem a very male-dominated narrative. McIndoe and the other star plastic surgeons of the day were all men; the Guinea Pig Club was unquestionably a ‘boys’ club.’ Yet often behind the scenes women were making vital – and memorable – contributions to the…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: Beyond McIndoe – staff at QVH

  The name of Sir Archibald McIndoe comes – deservedly - to the fore in any retelling of the history of Queen Victoria Hospital. As this series of blogs has highlighted, there can be no doubt of his influence in transforming the fortunes of both the hospital and of a multitude of patients through his…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: the Guinea Pig Club and the people of East Grinstead

        Today's post is a guest blog from Katie Kettle, a volunteer at East Grinstead Museum, who provides us with a special insight into the relationship between the Guinea Pig Club and the town of East Grinstead. Archibald McIndoe was one of Britain’s few plastic surgeons at the beginning of the Second…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: treatment of burns

We're very pleased to introduce this guest post which has been written by distinguished plastic surgeon, Mr Tom Cochrane, who was not only consultant plastic surgeon at Queen Victoria Hospital for many years, but also honorary plastic surgeon to the Guinea Pig Club. Throughout this time, he has supported the Guinea Pigs in many other ways, giving his time selflessly…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: Guinea Pigs for life

This is the second of two posts about the Guinea Pig club. As discussed in our previous post (see ‘Introducing the Guinea Pig Club’), the Guinea Pig Club began its existence as a social and drinking club. However, it was not long before it became much more than that. Archibald McIndoe was quick to recognise…