Tree Frog Forestry News

Women With Axes: Looking Back at World War II ‘Lumberjills’

By Emily Ludolph
The New York Times
March 20, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

At 7 a.m. on any given day in 1942, as R.A.F. pilots sped back from skirmishes over the English Channel …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 …were an elite part of England’s civilian defense efforts: the Women’s Timber Corps, playfully called “lumberjills.” …The lumberjills were part of the Women’s Land Army, which numbered some 80,000 at the height of World War II. …The organization was called back into action in the summer of 1939, roughly three months before Britain declared war against Germany. …Over the course of the war, the number of women working in British industry shot up by roughly a third, from 5.5 million to 7.35 million.

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