AND INFORMATION - INVERNESSSHIRE
INVERNESS (NEWFOUNDLAND) BATTN.
NEWFOUNDLAND OVERSEAS FOREST UNIT
WOMEN'S TIMBER CORPS
is a page within the www.staffshomeguard.co.uk website.
see full contents, go to SITE
The story of the Newfoundland Overseas Forest
Unit and its Home Guard unit, the 3rd Inverness (Newfoundland)
Battalion, is referred to briefly on another
page of this website. It is covered in considerable
detail on an
excellent Canadian site about NOFU which contains images,
members' lists and much other information.
A. Walsh from St. John's (seen
right) was one of the approx. 3680 members of the Newfoundland
Overseas Forestry Unit who came to the UK early in the war
and worked in the North of England and Scotland until 1946.
By 1942 most of the NOFU members were located
in large forests in the Highlands of Scotland. Louis was
based in a camp at Duthil, about 25 miles south-east of
Like so many of his comrades
Louis Walsh responded to the call to arms and
joined the 3rd Inverness (Newfoundland) Battalion
of the Home Guard. Detailed information on this Battalion
can be seen on the NOFU website mentioned
above. Several pictures of Louis's service survive. Here
he is (below, second from the left) before he received
his corporal's stripes, holding a map and gazing into the
And here photographed (right) at
Duthil in June 1943, demonstrating a shine on his boots
worthy of a Guardsman.
Louis Walsh, as Cpl. L. A. Walsh, HQ Coy.,
was selected to represent the Battalion at the national
Home Guard stand-down
parade in London on Sunday December 3rd 1944. This honour
was shared with two comrades, Cpl. Les Styles, "B"
Coy. and L/Cpl. H. Wheeler, "A" Coy. These are
thought to be the men (below) standing on either
side of Louis that weekend somewhere in central London,
in front of some government offices which appear to have
a Newfoundland association - and which also indicate the
general grubbiness of London after five years of war.
Working in parallel with the men of NOFU
were members of the Women's Timber Corps, part of the British
Women's Land Army. Girls and women of this Corps, some as
young as sixteen or seventeen, lived and worked in separate
camps. There they faced similar rugged conditions and back-breaking
work. Their role included felling, snedding
(the removal of side shoots and branches from a tree),
loading, crosscutting, measuring, driving tractors and trucks,
working with horses and operating sawmills. They were known
as Lumberjills. It is not known whether any became affiliated
to local Home Guard units but social contact with NOFU men
occurred at weekly dances and similar events in local village
and town halls.
For all the above photographs
and most of the information on this page we are indebted
to Mr. Colin Walsh of Toronto. He writes (in March 2007)
of his mother and father as follows:
My father, Louis Walsh passed away
on June 5, 1983 at 65 years old. He was Member # 2194
in the Unit. He had fond memories of that time as does
my mother who happily is still with us. They enjoyed the
local dances and the warmth of the people living in the
villages and towns.
My Mother, formerly Rosalind Elder
and originally from Scotland, travelled back there to
revisit the areas where the Camps were located for a BBC
Radio show. My Mother has been quietly working to have
the Women's Timber Corps (Women's Land Army) recognized
for their Wartime Service. My Father from Canada, was
well recognized, by receiving two medals: The Defence
Metal and the Volunteer Metal. I would love to see one
of the last few surviving members of the WTC, my Mother,
who is 80 yrs old, receive recognition from the Queen
for her contribution. I understand a statue has been commissioned
in honour of the WTC and is being placed on August 7,
2007 in the Highlands.
My Mother and the Queen were born
in the same month and year. They both serviced their Country
through their Homeland activities as they were so young.
I thought of writing her, as she was the inspiration to
the young women of the Women's Timber Corp, Land Army
My Mother refers to her Corps. as
the "Forgotten Army". I believe she is the last