The Women’s Timber Corps was a separate branch of the Women’s Land Army and was started in 1942 due to the German occupation of Norway causing a shortage of imported timber.
This branch received even less recognition than the WLA. The WTC uniform was slightly different as ‘Lumber Jills’ had a ‘beret’ instead of a hat and had a different arm band. Their badge showed a fir tree, as opposed to the sheaf of wheat for the Women’s Land Army.
More so in this type of work, the women worked alongside men who had to teach them everything about how to chop a tree, through to how to load it onto a lorry. The work didn’t just include the wielding of an axe, but also the skilled work of measuring trees and undertaking administrative work out in the forests.
Lumber Jills worked from 7am to 4:30 – slightly shorter when compared to the girls on the fields. This created some barriers between the different branches of the Women’s Land Army, as Land Girls often thought the Timber Corps had the ‘soft option’. Nevertheless, as part of the interview process, Lumber Jills had to pass a stricter medical examination than Land Girls.
The Women’s Timber Corps Memorial Statue was erected on 10th October 2007, in recognition of the work of the Women’s Timber Corps in Scotland.
In The Archives
Interview and photos with Lumber Jill veteran Joy Smith
Photos of Lumber Jills working at Culford Camp, in Suffolk.
Photos of Lumber Jills working in Wareham, Dorset.
1944 Timber Corps Calendar
Please click here for the details on each photograph.