It took two years to erode the prejudice before the government at last recognised the Lumberjills' achievements and agreed to officially set up the Women’s Timber Corps in 1942. Many thousands more women were trained in specialist camps over the next few years and the women became a highly- skilled workforce and produced hundreds of thousands of tonnes of timber during the war.
The camaraderie and joy of the 'girls' was heightened because they achieved success against the odds. The isolation and hard work, with inadequate training, clothing, food and living conditions took great toll on their health and wellbeing. The number of accidents and injuries reveals the risks the Lumberjills were exposed to every day.
But for many women, those years were among the happiest of their lives. They found life-long friendships, romance, husbands and a lasting love and connection with nature. Many of them realised that they could do whatever they wanted after working in the Women’s Timber Corps and continued having adventurous and fulfilling lives.
Some seventy years after the war, many women regretted that they never received any recognition for the work they had done. They were not allowed to take part in Remembrance Day celebrations, as they were not part of the fighting forces. They received no gratuities and were not even allowed to keep their uniforms when the Corps was disbanded. With this book, I hope to write the forgotten army of Lumberjills back into history.