During the war many women of Britain joined many organisations and the various armed forces, wheras before the war women had not been able to join the sevices. One of the Corps especially created for women was the "Women's Timber Corps" where 4,900 women were instantly enrolled to felling, snedding, loading, crosscutting, driving tractors, trucks, working with horses, measuring and operating sawmills and manage forests all over the UK.
Originally the Women's Timber Service had been set up during the first world war, but in April 1942 the Ministry of Supply (Home Grown Timber Department) inaugurated a new venture – the "Women's Timber Corps" (WTC), in England. The Scots quickly followed in May 1942, forming their own Women's Timber Corps which was a part of the Women's Land Army of Scotland. This was a new unit with its own identity and uniform.
Today if you talked of the Women's Timber Corps the most likely response is "Never heard of them". Yet their story is fascinating. The Women's Timber Corps replaced men in the forests and helped to produce timber vital to the war effort. These women were called "Lumber Jills" as they were affectionately known, who replaced the men who had answered the call to war. They wore the same uniform as the women Land army ( With a different badge on their Beret's) and their living conditions were frequently primitive and for girls who had worked in shops, offices, hairdressing salons and restaurants, the hardship was daunting.
Worst of all was the extreme physical effort required to lay-in, fell and cross-cut the timber; but the girls of the WTC set to with determination to produce pit-props for the mines, telegraph poles for communications, gun-stocks for the troops and even coffins for the casualties of war.
The Women's Timber Corps was disbanded in August 1946, with each girl handing back her uniform and receiving a letter from Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who was then the patron of the WTC.
Looking back over the last 70 years it is always surprising how many stories there is still to tell concerning the British Struggle during the second world war and how the war affected every day life and person in the country. My generation who were born in the1950's and 1960's owe our parants and grandparants generation for todays freedom with our grateful thanks.
My other website is called Directory of British Icons: http://fabprints.webs.com
The Chinese call Britain 'The Island of Hero's' which I think sums up what we British are all about. We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.
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