The ‘Lumberjills’, as they were affectionately known, replaced the men who had answered the call to war, carrying out the arduous tasks of felling, crosscutting, loading lorries and trains and sawmilling timber all over Scotland. A large percentage of this was mining timber, used to keep Britain's engines turning during those difficult times.

Michael Russell M.S.P. and Amy Hurwitz granddaughter of Rosalind Elder assisting at the unveiling ceremony  WTC Statue James McDougall and Admin Jane
Forestry Commission, Scotland 
    
Amy with BBC reporters at the Statue site
Thank you from the “Lumberjills” 

To John Scott of Glasgow and John McIntyre of Inellan we owe a special word of thanks for their dedication towards the goal of recognition for the Women’s Timber Corps. Without their constant hard work and caring this Memorial would not have come to pass.


Background information on the creation of the Statue and the artist, Malcolm Robertson
 

Michael  Russell  MSP said at the unveiling, “I am delighted to help commemorate the hard working women of the Women’s Timber Corps whose valiant behind the scenes, effort helped Britain in the war effort.” The work the women did was hard, physical labour that helped keep the industry afloat, and it helped shape the forests we see around us today.” 
 

Rosalind Elder, who was a member of the Women's Timber Corps and now lives in Canada, paid tribute to her colleagues who had served the cause during the war. "This statue will be a suitable memorial to the young women who worked long and hard during World War II to supply the much-needed timber for the war effort. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on their visits from Canada and the USA will appreciate this beautiful site, a fitting forest background for the girls of the Women's Timber Corps." The WTC was disbanded in August 1946, when each member handed back her uniform and received a letter from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.  

(Click here for local and national coverage of the dedication and unveiling) Click here for more background on the creation and design of the WTC Statue


The statue was unveiled on 10th October 2007 by Michael Russell MSP, Minister for the Environment.  Assisted by Amy Hurwitz, Rosalind Elder's granddaughter who lives in the USA and is studying at the University of Edinburgh representing both the Canadian and American Woman's Timber Corps. members who were unable to attend.   

 Commemoration Plaque
(Click image to enlarge)  
Women's Timber Corps Statue with background
(Click image to enlarge)
Plinth 

Women's Timber Corps Statue dedication invitation
(Click image to enlarge)
 
Amy with Hilda in Scotland  Group at the Dedication  John & Edna McIntyre who worked hard to get this memorial completed
Timber Corps girls at sawmill  In Uniform Crosscutting  Crew

Lumberjills of Kirrimuir 

The work was hard and at times cold (Brrr!) and wet, and the girls worked for years at a time in isolated forest locations. In many parts of Scotland logging was done with Clydesdales, Belgian and Highland Garron horses. Dangerous and hard work that required stamina and a close relationship with the horses.

"Lumberjill" Rosalind Elder ~ Teamster
 


Stacking logs

Rosalind Elder (Centre) and her two daughters

 R. Elder 2007,Canada 
 

Sons; Colin  & Louis (Elder) Walsh

Rosalind and husband Alex  Ontario, Canada ~ 1975
   Rosalind and husband Alex
 1986
(MORE ABOUT ALEX)
Rosalind and husband Alex
Victoria, BC, Canada ~ 1986
 Rosalind ~ 2007
 
Husband Alex ~ 2007
(MORE ABOUT ALEX)

From the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard  Oct 10, 2007 

Statue to the Lumberjills unveiled

October 10, 2007

The First Memorial to the members of the Women's Timber Corps (W.T.C.) who insured vital timber supplies during World War II has been unveiled.

A life size bronze sculpture of a 'Lumberjill' stands in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park near Aberfoyle. Recruits were enlisted to the Corps as part of the Women's Land Army during World War II and posted across the UK. Many were sent to remote areas, living in Spartan conditions to undertake the heavy work of timber production. The statue was commissioned by the Forestry Commission from Fife-based artist Malcolm Robertson and was unveiled by Environment Minister Michael Russell.

Creating a lasting memorial and 'thank you'

As the WTC was a section of the Women’s Land Army, it has had no official recognition of its efforts during the war.  Until very recently there were no representative at official Armistice Day Parades and no separate wreath at the Cenotaph - in fact, they had become the ‘Forgotten Corps'.

 

In order to provide a lasting memorial to the women of the WTC, Forestry Commission Scotland commissioned a study in 2006, which concluded that the most appropriate site for a memorial would be in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, with a preferred location being David Marshall Lodge near Aberfoyle. This is an established and well-appreciated site, with many of the facilities required for visits from existing members of the WTC.

 

In December 2006 a shortlist of potential artists was drawn up, and Forestry Commission Scotland commissioned a Fife-based artist, Malcolm Robertson , to create the memorial.  Mr. Robertson has previously worked on art installations within the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.

 

The sculpture is a life-size bronze of a member of the WTC.  Visitors will approach it from the back; this perspective will help the visitor appreciate the figure is female and that she has her right hand raised to her face in what appears to be a salute. 

Once the visitor reaches the front of the sculpture it becomes apparent that she is looking out, perhaps reflecting on past times, or simply looking over her work and efforts.

 

The site for the statue has been donated by Forest Enterprise Scotland, and a path will be constructed to, and around, the base.

 
 
 

 

Copyright © R. Elder May 2007

    

In Scotland, "You can still hear the wind whispering in the trees"