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The “Sawdust Fusiliers": The Canadian Forestry Corps in Devon, 1916-19

Fedorowich, Kent


Kent Fedorowich
Associate Professor in British Imperial & Comnwealth History


In April 1916, the first battalion of Canadian lumberjacks arrived in England to initiate large-scale forestry operations. The remarkable achievements of the men of the Canadian Forestry Corps—who would number almost 32,000 by November 1918—are little known. Astonishingly, over 70% of all the timber used by the Allied armies on the western front was furnished by these men. The county of Devon serves as a useful case study to survey the felling operations undertaken to feed the country’s insatiable appetite for timber. It also provides a lens into the at times ambivalent relationship between the men of the Canadian Forestry Corps and British civilians, on the one hand, and “attached labour”—foreign labourers from Portugal and the growing number of German prisoners of war—on the other.


Fedorowich, K. (2020). The “Sawdust Fusiliers": The Canadian Forestry Corps in Devon, 1916-19. Histoire Sociale / Social History, 53(109), 519-544.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 24, 2020
Publication Date Nov 24, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 25, 2021
Journal Histoire Sociale/Social History
Print ISSN 0018-2257
Electronic ISSN 1918-6576
Publisher University of Toronto Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 109
Pages 519-544
Series ISSN 0018-2257
Keywords Canadian Forestry Corps, Devon, timber, Western Front, civil-military relations.
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