Friday, 29 July 2016

Canadian Forestry Corps WWI and WWII

a Canadian forest
© Penny Allen
This article was created from C. Farquar's (whom I'm following on Twitter) retweet to Sheila's article. I did not have an inkling that this unit operated in the Two World Wars. Many thanks!

Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC)
The CFC was a unit developed out of the need for lumber that provided wood for boards for the bottoms of trenches, shoring up trenches, ladders, holding up barbed (razor) wire and many other uses during the 1st and 2nd World War. According to this Wikipedia article there were over 30,000 men from across Canada (including Newfoundland, even though this province did not join Canada until 1952) that served in the Forestry Corps in WWI. Some soldiers were also sent to the action at the front, although kept well behind the front lines. The Second World War saw a reinstatement of the Forestry Corps which again included men from Newfoundland. If you visit the War Memorial in Ottawa, one of the figures on the statue depicts a figure of a CFC soldier.

"The Canadians brought with them up-to-date logging techniques and machinery, not yet widely used in Scotland. Many locals had never seen the type of tractors and winches used to pull the trees out of the ground." Taken from the Forestry Commission Scotland article. See link below.

This 2011 blog post was written by Sheila, a hiking/walking enthusiast from Scotland and her interest in looking at the sites of the former CFC camps came out of a talk she attended.
Link to Sheila's article on her blog.

In response to a question about the original source, she wrote:
'The talk was given by Alasdair Cameron – a local guy, I think. It was part of a series of talks about local history run by Boblainy Forest Archaeology project (run by Highland Council archaeologist). The CFC camp I visited is in Boblainy Forest, Kiltarlity near Inverness. If you click on the photos in this and the next post the photos will open in Flickr and show the location on a map.'

Some of the comments to her post provided more information and contacts:

Andrew Ker is researching WWI CFC companies (110 & 121)
'I am researching the story of the two CFC companies (110 & 121) in the Glenmore and Strath Nethy areas of Scotland in WW1 – there seems to be lots of stuff on WW2 but (not surprisingly) less on WW1. I’d be very happy to hear from anyone who knows anything on the subject, or is just interested. I’m particularly keen to identify various artefacts which I have unearthed in their camp sites and railway routes.'

Bob Briggs has quite a lot of information about WWII CFC troops and is quite willing to share and help readers:

This is some of the information that he has available:
No. 7 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps; District 2, Camp 14, Highwood (Feabuie), Culloden
  • Canadian Mobilization Point – Victoria, BC
  • Mobilization Date –14 Aug 1940 
  • Arrived in Scotland – 1 Mar 1941 
  • Ceased Operations in Scotland – 7 Oct 1943
More Resources:
Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919
Canadian Government site: (!! Caution !! =37 MB)

Forestry Commission Scotland article on the CFC 

The Canadian Forestry Corps in Scotland during World War II by William C. Wonders published in the Scottish Geographical Magazine Vol. 103, Iss.1, 1987 pp. 21-31. (This article is not freely available on the internet. Ask your very resourceful local librarian for help!)

If you have any further information to add, please post a comment.


  1. My father enlisted in the CFC in Montreal and served throughout WW2 in No. 2 Company, posted in Scotland and (I think) Belgium.

  2. I found my father listed on Bob Briggs' WWII CFC troops pages, with lots of information about him, and have shared more information with Bob. Thanks for this tip, Penny!

  3. Happy you have found some good results Margaret! Enjoy finding unique resources, very satisfying when some one has success. Yeah!