Call to honour Scotland’s Lumber Jills

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Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, is appealing for any surviving members of the Women’s Land Army to come forward – after it was announced they are to receive a commendation from the UK government.

He has also written to Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead to call for a special statue to be commissioned for Scotland as a symbol of the nation’s recognition and gratitude for their efforts.

At the height of the second world war there were 80,000 ‘land girls’ some of whom worked in the Highlands to produce milk, vegetables and other produce which were distributed across the country as part of the war effort.

At the start of December Mr Peacock raised a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on the Scottish Executive to give full and proper recognition to the Scottish land girls.

This week it was announced by the UK government that former members of the WLA are to receive a special badge.

‘Lumber Jills’ who worked in the Women’s Timber Corps are also to be recognised.

Mr Peacock commented: "I understand that the Lumber Jills have had a memorial erected to them and it would seem only just and fitting that the same could be done for the Land Girls.

"I have asked the Cabinet Secretary if he is able to commission such a work and find a suitable rural location for its display."

He added: "The contribution of these women in supplying food and timber on the home front was invaluable in the second world war.

"Indeed many of them continued with their voluntary work until the WLA was disbanded in 1950.

"It is quite correct that they should receive this commendation for their efforts.

"I would urge any women in the Highlands and Islands who were part of this war effort to contact the telephone hotline about the badge 08459 335577."

The text of Peter Peacock’s motion reads : Scottish Land Girls— That the Parliament notes the recent report on BBC Scotland’s Landward programme highlighting the campaign by Scottish land girls to the war effort in both the first and second world wars; pays tribute to all those who volunteered to work on Scotland’s land to ensure that food production could continue in times of severe national shortage, and considers that the Scottish Executive should give full and proper recognition to the Scottish land girls for their contribution to the war effort.

7 December  2007

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