The Word of the day challenge is fire, the subject of which immediately shot into my mind however I must warn readers that the subject matter is a little shocking perhaps.
My post today concerns the work of Archie McIndoe and his work at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, Surrey and his amazing and at the time ground breaking experimental reconstructive plastic surgery.
In 1941 The Guinea Pig Club was formed as a social club and mutual support network for British and allied aircrew who were injured by fire during World War Two. The fact that it was a drinking club was somewhat controversial as allowing patients to drink, sing and play the piano was definitely not the conventional route for recuperation at the time.
One of the most important developments was the walking skin graft whereby a pedicle of skin which had a blood supply was kept attached to a graft to keep the supply of blood to the injury and therefore keep the graft alive. The use of salt water baths was also used as they noticed it was beneficial to healing from observations from the airmen who had landed in the sea.
The Guinea Pig Club had its own anthem which was sung to the tune Aurelia by Samuel Sebastian Wesley also known as the hymn The Church’s One Foundation.
We are McIndoe’s army,
We are his Guinea Pigs.
With dermatomes and pedicles,
Glass eyes, false teeth and wigs.
And when we get our discharge
We’ll shout with all our might:
“Per ardua ad astra”
We’d rather drink than fight.
John Hunter runs the gas works,
Ross Tilley wields the knife.
And if they are not careful
They’ll have your flaming life.
So, Guinea Pigs, stand ready
For all your surgeon’s calls:
And if their hands aren’t steady
They’ll whip off both your ears.
We’ve had some mad Australians,
Some French, some Czechs, some Poles.
We’ve even had some Yankees,
God bless their precious souls.
While as for the Canadians –
Ah! That’s a different thing.
They couldn’t stand our accent
And built a separate Wing.
We are McIndoe’s army,
(As first verse)
Amazing work by some extremely clever surgeons and some very courageous airmen, well done those men. “Per ardua ad astra.”
About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin
I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent.
Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work.
I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise.
I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013.
My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie.
I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes.
I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage.
My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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Poor rhyming. I notice that ears does not rhyme with calls!!
What a powerful post! Excellent choice of subject matter in response to the post.