The 'Lumberjills'

 From the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard  Oct 10, 2007

   Statue to the 'Lumberjills' unveiled

 
The First Memorial to the members of the Women's Timber Corps (W.T.C.) who ensured vital timber supplies during World War II has been unveiled.
October 10, 2007
 

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 Women's Timber Corps, 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 Women's Timber Corps.

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. (Click here to see a picture of the wax carving before casting in bronze)

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 that 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 or to the future at Wars end.

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

 

Copyright © R. Elder May 2007

    

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