Women's Timber Corps, Culford Training Camp, Bury St. Edmunds

A top secret mission

On one top secret mission she had to drive through heavily bombed out docks with an urgent delivery of wood for the floating Mulberry Harbours. Constructed in secrecy and floated into position, thousands of tons of vehicles and supplies were unloaded onto the Normandy beaches from the Mulberries.

80 years ago, Eileen Mark and fellow lumberjills also helped prepare for D-Day. She told me that on rainy days, they spent their time in the barn making D-Day landing track way out of chestnut poles and wire. So tanks and vehicles could pass over the sand on the Normandy beaches. 

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"The Lumberjills Britains Forgotton Army is a true story full of anecdotes about the girls doing their bit during the Second World War, reminding us of the incredible hard work they undertook helping to keep Britain safe. 

"From her interviews Joanna Foat has brought to life their camaraderie, strength and endurance and great sense of humour throughout. So many people have never heard of Lumberjills so how fitting a tribute to these wonderful young women of the 1940's."

Getting ready for D-Day 

On June 6th 1944, the Allied forces from the UK, US, Canada and other countries risked their lives for freedom and peace on D-Day. This year while we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, I remember the Lumberjills who played their vital part in the preparations.

Kathleen Houghton (driver left) worked in the milk bar at Woolworths in Blackpool before the war. She trained as a lorry driver in the Women’s Timber Corps, even though she had never driven a car before. She spent the war delivering urgent lorry loads of pit props to Plymouth station.

Lumberjills Exhibition

Dalby Forest, North York Moors National Park

Open daily from 23 March until 30 June-8am to 4pm

Dalby Forest, Courtyard Exhibition Space, Low Dalby

Step back in time and discover the unsung heroines of World War II with Forestry England's fascinating exhibition, "Women inForestry: The Lumberjills Story".

Delve into the remarkable journey of the Lumberjills, a courageous group of women who defied convention and transformed the landscape of forestry

during one of history's most tumultuous


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"A powerful story of hardship and friendship, based on the author’s own original research. I was rooting for these girls to prove themselves on their challenging adventure." 

Suzanne Goldring

best-selling author of My Name is Eva

Meet the Lumberjills


‘Many of the lumberjills I met were upset that they remained a footnote in history, so I wanted to make sure they were remembered. Now their incredible feats of physical and mental endurance inspire women today. Given the freedom and opportunity to work together out in the forest, the lumberjills became very strong and were a huge success.’ 

Joanna Foat

  Celebrating Women in History