CANADIAN FORESTRY CORPS (CFC)
No 28 Company
SCOTLAND - 22 Jun 1942-1 Apr 1944
I am very much indebted to Robert J. Briggs, of Canada, for much of the following information on the CFC which was stationed in Scotland, and especially at Delnies, between Nairn and Ardersier. Robert's grandfather Perle Bruce Tucker, served with the CFC and was stationed at Delnies. See photo below left. Robert may be contacted: email@example.com
Robert has done extensive research on the CFC also on Ardersier and Petty and I must admit I have learned quite a lot about my birthplace from this knowledgeable Canadian
The members of the CFC endeared themselves to the local people and quite a few of them married local girls. A very special family friend, Rhoda Duncan married a Canadian (Bob) Edwards. My mother and I were invited to their wedding and amongst the musicians playing at the reception, which was held at the Delnies camp, was an accordion player. As a ‘wee lad’ who had just spent a year and four months in hospital, I was so impressed with the instrument and the musician, thanks to his generosity, he let me take the accordion home for six weeks.
That, believe it or not, set me on a musical career which has taken me round the world many times. Unfortunately, I was unable to keep in touch with this generous Canadian who was posted away from Delnies; I believe his name was Layton or Clayton from Alberta.
Another local lady from Ardersier, Audrey Cook married a Canadian called Bernard Glassford, and they settled in King City, Ontario, I have not been in touch with them for some time.
Robert would like to trace the Campbell family who befriended his grandfather during his stay at Delnies; I believe they lived at The Mains. See photos below.
Regarding the photo of Fort George: From memory, and I stand to be corrected, on the right of the photo there are four concrete loading ramps leading to the sea. These were used for loading the LCTs and LCIs and then sailed for near the Culbin Sands where they rehearsed the Normandy landings.
|Please click on photos to enlarge|
|19/11/20011 I have just received this obituary notice and the
Glassford information from Robert
The "topographical Directory of Scotland" identifies that a Glassford Parish is in the middle ward of the County of Lanark about 2.5 miles northeast of Strathaven and containing the the villages of Westquarter and Chapelton. In the area the population is about 1700. The parish has no historical significance and is quite small being only 8 miles long and of irregular form with a width at one end of 4 miles and at the other 2 miles and in the centre about 0.5 miles. In 1995, the site was visited by a two family member (Bernard Glassford [ Born in Beaverton Ontario 1915 and who attended the University of Glasgow to do post graduate work as a mining engineer] and his brother Arthur born 1921) and during this visit they found the Glassford Inn and the proprietor identified to them that Glassford's had not been seen in the area as long as they could remember.
Robert in Canada has done a tremendous amount of research regarding the member of the CFC named Layton or Clayton that started me on my musical career, but unfortunately, I have been unable to link his name to Robert's list. I had just spent some considerable time in hospital and was still in recovery mode. However I am grateful for Robert's efforts.
THE ‘SAWDUST FUSILIERS’, The Canadian Forestry Corps. In the Scottish Highlands
In World War Two. By: WILLIAM C WONDERS. Canadian Pulp and Paper Association.
Once again the British Government turned to Overseas Woodsman to assist in the war effort. Given their impressive record in World War One it was natural that they looked to Canada to provide forestry units once again. In May 1940 the Canadian Government decided to form a Canadian Forestry Corps. Twenty Companies were initially formed with ten more as the war progressed.
The financial agreement between the two Governments as similar to that in World War I. Canada would bear the cost of pay, allowances and pensions, all initial personal equipment, transport to and from the United Kingdom. The British Government paid for "all other services connected with equipment, work or maintenance" and certain others, including medical services. Canada covered the cost for Medical Officers and Britain paid for hospitalization.
The arrangement was unusual as it resulted in a Canadian Unit working for the British, who controlled the areas of work and disposal of the product, but Military operations of the C.F.C. was never surrendered by the Canadians and came under command of Canadian Military Headquarters in London. Even though the C.F.C. had to serve two masters, no serious problems ever resulted.
Mobilization centres for the Corp spanned all across Canada, and recruited both English and French speaking personnel. Many of the volunteers were veterans of World War One, including the Corp's Commander, Brigadier- General J.B. White. Many of the men carried out the same duties as they did in civilian life, such as loggers, black smiths, lawyers, store man, cooks and clerks. The big difference between the new Corp and their World War One counter parts were the new Corp were considered Combat Troops.
The main training centre for the Corp was in Valcartier, where they received 5-7 months training and then proceeded Overseas to the United Kingdom, where the main areas of operations were centred in Scotland. For the most part, the C.F.C. camps were constructed from scratch, and the personnel built barracks, roads, bridges and set up power plants. Each company's sawmill usually was located close to their camp and employed both "Canadian Mills" and the smaller "Scotch Mill" but the later was not viewed with approval by the Canadians. The average time lag between arrival at the camps and the start of logging operations was 97 days.
The companies worked in two sections, one cutting in the bush and bringing out the timber, and the other sawing it into lumber at the company mill. The felling crew consisted of three men, two sawing and one trimming. Hand saws and axes were the tools employed and three man "Cat" teams yarded the logs to the roadside landings, either by dragging them or use of sulkies. Each C.F.C. Unit was a self-contained community, including men capable of turning their hand at any task from black smithery and mechanical repair to snow clearance on the highland roads. A regular potion of each unit's time was devoted to military training, each company preparing defensive positions in its area in cooperation with the troops of Scottish Command in the event of German invasion.
The C.F.C. had a very positive impact on the Scottish Highlands. The men became active participants in local functions, from fund raising to staging Christmas parties for the local children. Many times scrap wood mysteriously fell from lorries to land beside individual homes in need of fuel. During their stay in the Highlands, the C.F.C. cleared an estimated 230,000 forest acres in Scotland and in doing so they contributed to the urgency of reforestation in post war Scotland. But at the same time it demonstrated more efficient cutting and clearing techniques, which was adopted by Scottish forestry in post war years. A notable tribute to the C.F.C. was paid by Laura Lady Lovat when she stated, "you Canadians may be cutting the Scots firs of the Highlands, but in Highland hearts you are planting something far more lasting".
With preparations for the allied invasion in the spring of 1944, the C.F.C. was also prepared for movement across the channel. C.F.C. personnel began to assemble at Southampton, and began to construct timber into rafts to be towed across the channel. In all seventy-seven square timber and fifty-four round timber rafts were constructed and towed successfully to France. By the end of August 1944 the C.F.C. were in operation in Europe. And in December of 1944 when the Germans launched their Ardennes counter-offensive, six companies of C.F.C. were called upon to help hold the front line. The only other Canadian Unit in the operation were members of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
On August 31, 1945 the C.F.C. was officially disbanded and returned to Canada. In all at it's peak, the Overseas strength of the Corp was 220 officers and 6771 other ranks. But little physical evidence of their work remains today, many of the camps have long since been reforested and only partly overgrown sawdust piles remain to remind us of their wartime contribution. Due to the fact that much of their work was Sapper related the Canadian Military Engineers include them in our heritage and it is only through units like the Canadian Forestry Corp that our history has become the strong contribution to the Canadian Freedom we enjoy today!
HQ No 3 Forestry District Duncraig House, NAIRN, (OC, LCol W.E. Gardner, VD)
No 1 Company HOLME ROSE, CAWDOR, Nairn-shire.
No 7 Company HIGHWOOD, CULLODEN MOOR, Inverness-shire.
No 8 Company INCHYETTLE, CAWDOR, Nairn-shire.
No 23 Company Darnaway Estate, (Nr. NAIRN)
No 27 Company Darnaway Estate, (Nr. FORRES), Moray-shire.
No 28 Company ARDERSIER (Nr. FORT GEORGE), Inverness-shire.
HQ No 4 Forestry District Dunachton Lodge, KINGUSSIE, (OC, LCol F.J. Dawson)
No 5 Company BLAIR ATHOLL, Perth-shire.
No 11 Company CARRBRIDGE, Inverness-shire.
No 12 Company INSH (Nr. KINCRAIG), Inverness-shire.
No 14 Company BOAT OF GARTEN, Inverness-shire.
No 20 Company NETHYBRIDGE, Inverness-shire.
HQ No 5 Forestry District Dalblair House, BEAULY, (OC, LCol N.C. Ferguson)
No 6 Company BOG O'SHANNON, AVOCH, Ross-shire.
No 10 Company DOCHFOUR, Loch Ness (Nr. INVERNESS)
No 15 Company BOBLAINY (Nr. BEAULY), Inverness-shire.
No 18 Company KILTARLITY (Nr. BEAULY), Inverness-shire.
No 19 Company BALLADRUM (Nr. BEAULY), Inverness-shire.
No 21 Company MUIR OF ORD, Ross-shire.