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  #1  
Old 27-05-20, 11:05 AM
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Default Women's Land Army and Women's Forestry Service

Three nice badges. The right hand WLA badge is well known but I have not seen the other version before. Was it official or is it just a smarter, probably privately purchased, version?

The Women's Forestry Service badge I have seen before but have no idea what they did. Were they connected with the WLA's Timber Corps? Did they wear a uniform?

The National Archives catalogue lists a file on them which ran from April 1939 to February 1949.

Comments please.

Jon
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  #2  
Old 27-05-20, 11:43 AM
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Amongst other things they were responsible for the measuring of trees and controlling the operations of the "Lumberjills".
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Old 27-05-20, 11:46 AM
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Article on Women's Forestry Service , including uniform :

http://www.scarletfinders.co.uk/160.html

IWM has photo of hat with cloth badge:

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30098540
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Old 27-05-20, 11:55 AM
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History

The vast majority of these Land Girls worked on local farms but a small cohort was directed into forestry work under the banner of the Women’s Forestry Service (WFS). The organisation was officially formed on 1 August 1917 under the National Service Department, initially employing 25 measurers and 20 timber cutters.

Despite the apparent success of the organisation, the official historian of timber production in the Second World War, Russell Meiggs, described the WFS as ‘rough and ready’. Indeed, he believed that the revival of the organisation in 1940 and the widespread substitution of women for male timber workers would not have succeeded had the government not stepped in and set up the WTC on firmer foundations than its predecessor.
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Old 27-05-20, 12:22 PM
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There was a thread at the beginning of the year trying to identify a 'fir tree' badge , a WFS badge was suggested but as it was a WW1 badge it didn't appear to be correct.

Now , knowing that the WFS was revived in 1940 is it possible that the "Lumber Jill" in the photo was actually 'Forrestry Service' rather than 'Timber Corps'
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Old 27-05-20, 01:06 PM
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I've not seen a WLA badge with the blue enamel - interesting item.

I've attached a photo (with detail) of a member of the WW1 Forestry Service from Canterbury, Kent

The Stirling Observer, 13 March, 1941 pg4 mentions the WW2 badge above. I think one difference between the WLA/WTC and the WFS is that the former came under the Ministry of Agriculture while the latter were Ministry of Supply

Steve H
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Old 27-05-20, 04:03 PM
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Excellent info , now there are photos of the two different WW1 cloth badges , the 'measurers' tree and the 'cutters' axes & saw.

The newspaper article describes the brooch perfectly and who it was awarded to.

Edit :

WW1
"While the Land Army is, as a whole, under the Board of Agriculture, the Women’s Forestry Service is directly under the Board of Trade."

Don't know if same applied in WW2.

.
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Last edited by mike_vee; 27-05-20 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 27-05-20, 10:21 PM
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Also according to Meiggs (p.195), in WW2, the WFS was only in Scotland, where they had 200 members - meaning the enamel lapel badge is very rare indeed.

That said, 2 badges went for only 20 and 32 in March on ebay - I suspect people generally don't know about the WFS or how rare their badges are (though the seller did allude to this in his listing):

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...&LH_Complete=1

Last edited by ARPCDHG; 27-05-20 at 10:27 PM.
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