Search is on for wartime Lumberjills

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THE search is on for Lumberjills who worked in a North East wood during the Second World War.

Groundwork North East, working with the Forestry Commission and the Friends of Chopwell Wood, is looking to set up a heritage project to recount the experiences of members of the Women’s Timber Corps.

Women from all over the region were posted to the beauty spot near Gateshead, carrying out tasks such as felling, cross-cutting and measuring logs, as well as loading timber onto trucks and driving vehicles.

The Women’s Timber Corps was set up in 1942 as an off-shoot of the Land Army.

At its peak it had thousands of women from all backgrounds and walks of life dressed in distinctive uniforms to supply desperately-needed timber to the wartime economy.

Pam Warhurst, Chairman of Forestry Commission England, said: “The great efforts of our Lumberjills must be one of the last unrecognised stories of the Second World War.

“We forget how vital timber was to the war effort and yet so little is known about the women who kept the nation’s forestry working.”

Plans include creating a website with transcriptions of memories and donated images, open days and educational visits for schools to celebrate the contribution of the Lumberjills.

If you or a member of your family served at Chopwell Wood during the war, contact Joanne Norman by telephone on 0191 5672550 or email