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Thu Mar 21, 2019, 12:23 AM

Women With Axes: Looking Back at World War II 'Lumberjills'

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/20/world/europe/britain-lumberjills-world-war-ii-.html

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A unit of lumberjills starting off for a day’s work in the woods. Circa 1942. The New York Times

At 7 a.m. on any given day in 1942, as R.A.F. pilots sped back from skirmishes over the English Channel and shopkeepers doubling as Home Guard militia were hanging their tin hats up after the night’s watch, a truck would swing down a British country lane to pick up a crew of women and ferry them deep into the forest.

The women piling into the truck sported berets, bright green sweaters, belted corduroy breeches and coveted badges emblazoned with a fir tree or two crossed axes to indicate they were an elite part of England’s civilian defense efforts: the Women’s Timber Corps, playfully called “lumberjills.”

Coordinated by the Home Grown Timber Production Department, lumberjills were Rosie the Riveter’s counterparts across the Atlantic. Seen here in photographs from The New York Times archives, they harvested timber for telegraph poles, rails for D-Day splashdowns and the pit props that bulwarked vital British coal mines.

While it was the first time that many of the women had hauled logs or stripped branches, it was often not the first time that they had held jobs. Of the 6,000 workers who toiled in the lumber fields at the peak of the corps’ staffing, a good number were “city bred” — former shop assistants, dressmakers and factory workers. The New York Times assured readers, “It has been found more often than not that the girl whose previous knowledge of tree life was often limited to the telegraph post can swing an axe just as efficiently as a farmer’s daughter.”

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Reply Women With Axes: Looking Back at World War II 'Lumberjills' (Original post)
steve2470 Mar 21 OP
NBachers Mar 21 #1
Karadeniz Mar 21 #2
TNNurse Mar 21 #3
Dem2theMax Mar 21 #4

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 12:52 AM

1. And throughout England there are trunks, drawers, & boxes with faded green sweaters, badges, berets,

and long-forgotten memories of the not-so-distant past. They deserve to be remembered.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 02:17 PM

2. Never heard of this! Thanks for the info. ❤❤❤

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 06:54 PM

3. I love to learn about history like this.

Things you just do not learn in school.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2019, 09:26 PM

4. Thank you so much for posting this.

It's amazing that it is 2019 and I am just now hearing about this. I love history, and you would think that these women would have been given their due long ago.

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