During the two world wars, it is well known that women all over the country entered factories, armed services and farms, filling gaps left by the exodus of men. What is less well known is that one of the vital services women filled during these tumultuous times was in forestry, forming the Women's Timber Corps. Timber was a vital resource, imported into the UK in vast quantities, but wartime meant the country had to be self-sufficient - and without the men that usually took on the work. In stepped the Lumberjills: the government reluctantly recruited thousands of women to carry out this 'man's job'; they were responsible for felling and crosscutting trees by hand, operating sawmills, driving tractors and hauling timber trucks. Here researcher Joanna Foat weaves the fascinating hidden history of the Women's Timber Corps with voices of the Lumberjills themselves to air their stories for the first time
Available at Pelaw.