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…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: Introduction to the Guinea Pig Club

‘It has been described as the most exclusive club in the world, but the entrance fee is something most men would not care to pay and the conditions of membership are arduous in the extreme.’ Archibald McIndoe on the Guinea Pig Club One of the most remarkable legacies of the war years at Queen Victoria…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: McIndoe ‘The Maestro’

    This post will provide a general overview of McIndoe’s life and work. Later posts will examine different aspects of his work at Queen Victoria Hospital in more depth. The man who became known as ‘the Maestro’ of Queen Victoria Hospital was born in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand on 4th…

Kindertransport and refugees in West Sussex

November 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport, a British led programme which rescued over 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi persecution in Germany and annexed territories. The first trains arrived in Britain on 2nd December 1938 and the scheme continued until the outbreak of war in 1939. Many of the transports arrived in Harwich…