TA K I NG AC T I ON
Two problems faced the Government: a shortage of suitable trees and
a simultaneous lack of people with the skills and experience to fell and
process what trees there were.
In 1916 the Government belatedly set up the Home Grown Timber
Committee to oversee the purchase and use of native trees – all from
private plantations. They also made plans to harvest the timber of
Continental Europe,from the Pyrenees to Belgium.But who was to carry
out this work?
CA NA DA T O T H E R E S C U E
In 1916 Britain appealed for experienced foresters from Canada and the
Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) was formed.More than 10,000 Canadians
came over to work in the woods ofWestern Europe, including units based
in Stirling and Inverness.These men were joined in 1917 by around 500
of the Newfoundland Forestry Corps. Finnish, Portuguese and German
prisoners of war also worked in forests across Scotland.
Known as the ‘sawdust fusiliers’, the North
American foresters brought their skills and new
techniques to the woods of Glenmore, Perthshire,
Sutherland and Morayshire. At Craigvinean near
Dunkeld the ‘Newfies’ set up a 3,000 foot-long
chute to flush logs down from their felling site to
the sawmill. By 1918 the CFC was supplying more
than 70% of the timber used by the Allies on the
HOME GR OWN H E L P
Schoolboys and Boy Scouts were also commandeered to help with the
forestry war effort and adapted cheerfully to the hard manual labour,
snowstorms and biting insects. During Easter 1917 one group of Scouts
from the Borders planted around 20,000 trees,despite drifting snow. But
it was not until 1917 that the Government thought to call on a young,
strong sector of society:the women of Britain.
4 materials of war