Frequently Asked Questions

I think my female relative was a Land Girl – how do I find out more?

If you’d like to find out about your female relative who worked in the Women’s Land Army, your first step is to find her record card.

Land Girls employed in England and Wales

In September 2022, Ancestry, in partnership with The National Archives, digitised the record cards of Land Girls who worked in the Women’s Land Army from 1939 to 1950. You can now browse the database of those Land Girls who were born over 100 years ago here. You can read a blog about the record cards on The National Archives’ blog.

If your female relative was born less than 100 years ago, you’ll need to get in touch with the Imperial War Museum, where an archivist might be able to send you a photocopy of the index card in question. The IWM recommend that in your correspondence that you include the full name, date of birth, address, and the county where the Land Girl worked.

If you are able to find a record card, then this page gives some information on how to interpret it, as well as the information you can expect to find on a card. Record cards do not give information on the individual farms where Land Girls worked. There is no central list of farms where Land Girls worked during the Second World War.

An example of a WLA record card.

Land Girls employed in Scotland

In 2023, The ScotlandsPeople website, the official Scottish Government resource, managed by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), digitised the record cards for Scottish Land Girls and Lumber Jills. If your female relative worked in Scotland and was born over 100 years ago, you can search these cards here. For more information on these cards, please see this page on my website.

Searching the records is free, with a charge of six credits (£1.50) for viewing an image of the card(s). A ScotlandsPeople account is required to search and view these records online and you can register here for free at the following link: https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/user/register.

For more information about these records please see the guidance on the Scottish Women’s Land Army records and a feature article profiling the lives of some of its members.

The SWLA index card for Josephine McGuire. After completing 10 years’ service with the SWLA, McGuire was awarded the 10 years Land Army service ‘brooch’ and the British Empire Medal, as noted on her card.

Add your question to the messageboard

I’m very happy to add requests for more information on specific Land Girls to the messageboard of my site, encouraging people to respond with information. I also share this on my corresponding Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you’d like me to do this, please e-mail Cherish Watton at info@womenslandarmy.co.uk.

Please include as much information as possible on your female relative; first name, maiden surname, married surname, date of birth, places worked, and any photographs.

Contact local archives and/or history societies

It might also be worth asking local history and archive societies if they have any networks they might be able to distribute your research enquiry around. They may be familiar with local activities carried out by Land Girls in a specific area.

Read this article

Stuart Antrobus, WLA historian and author of ‘We Wouldn’t Have Missed it for the World: the Women’s Land Army in Bedfordshire 1939-1950’, has helpfully written an article on the different sources of information available to those researching the work of the Women’s Land Army. You can read Stuart’s article, originally in the Local History Magazine, here.

How do I request the WLA Veterans Badge?

You could apply to Defra for the WLA badge if you are the spouse or family member of a deceased veteran, but only if they died after 6 December 2007 (when the badge was issued). However, applications for the WLA and WTC veterans badge have been closed since 31 December 2019. No further information has been issued on when the application will be re-opened.

For further research advice, please visit the Research page.

This page shares some answers to frequently asked questions by website visitors. If this page doesn’t answer your question, then please get in touch with me, Cherish Watton, directly at info@womenslandarmy.co.uk. Please note that I run this website in my free time, alongside a full-time job, so there will be some delay in getting back to you.