Sunday, 10 June 2012

Return of the Lumberjills

The Women's Timber Corps existed during World War Two and was an offshoot of the Land Army.

It consisted of female lumberjacks (known jokingly as `lumberjills`) who carried out forestry work, filling in for the young men who were away in the armed forces.

The timber was used for pit props, aircraft manufacture etc.

The WTC are seen as one of the last unrecognised stories of World War Two, and in my personal opinion, theirs is a story that deserves to be more widely known. It`s worth remembering that the work was far more labour intensive in those days - there were no chainsaws and trees could only be felled with a saw or an axe.

The Forestry Commission is gathering information on the `lumberjills` and is currently keen to hear from anyone who served in the WTC in the North Yorkshire woods, or from family members of anyone who did so.

The WTC were active in a number of wooded areas in North Yorks, particularly Dalby and Cropton (near Pickering), and Boltby and Kilburn (near Thirsk and Helmsley).

The current appeal for information and contacts follows on from a similar project earlier this year concerning WTC activities at Chopwell Wood, near Gateshead.

Details of the current appeal are contained in Forestry Commission  Press Release number 15486, dated 7 June 2012. The contact point for members of the public is Petra Young, while media enquiries should be addressed to Richard Darn.

Useful links ;

The Forestry Commission

Women`s Timber Corp (tribute site)

Although the current appeal relates specifically to N Yorks, the impression I have is that they would be happy to hear from anyone with information etc concerning wartime WTC activities.

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