Scottish WLA and WTC cards released online for the first time
Thank you to Jessica Evershed, Outreach and Learning Archivist, National Records of Scotland for sharing this wonderful news about the release of new Scottish Women’s Land Army and Women’s Timber Corps online for the very first time.
The ScotlandsPeople website is the official Scottish Government resource, managed by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), for searching government records and archives online. New record collections are frequently added to the website and the most recent additions are those of the Scottish Women’s Land Army (SWLA) and Women’s Timber Corps (WTC) from 1939 to 1950. Images of 10,000 index cards relating to the women who served in the Land Army and Timber Corps are now available online to search and view on ScotlandsPeople at the following link: https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/advanced-search/employment-records/scottish-womens-land-army/swla#form
These records will be of particular interest to family historians hoping to learn more about the role their relatives played in the Second World War and gaining a wider perspective on the work of the SWLA and WTC. The format of the index cards are similar to those of England and Wales; each card can give insight into the training given to new recruits, where the individual worked and reveal why they left their post.
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.Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, AF59/285/2 9345
The index cards were a directory to the service record files (which have not survived) and include basic details of members’ service. Each card contains some or all of the following information:
- Name (including both maiden and married surname, if married during service)
- Full home address
- Date of birth, or age on enrolment
- Occupation prior to enrolment
- Date of interview/enrolment
- SWLA/WTC enrolment (and service file) number
- Place of SWLA/WTC employment and dates
- Remarks (these can include information on previous work experience, if a service badge was issued, the date of release and reasons for leaving the SWLA, amongst other details such as remarks on conduct)
- Date when officially leaving the SWLA/WTC
The index cards can be searched using the following terms:
- Surname (maiden or married name)
- Forename/s (or initial/s)
- Year of birth
- Service branch (Land Army or Timber Corps)
- Enrolment county/division
This is the first of a schedule of online releases of nearly 20,000 SWLA and WTC records held by the NRS. The initial release of 9,719 entries consists of SWLA and WTC members born in or before 1922. On 1 January 2024, entries for individuals with a birth year of 1923 will be released and we will continue releasing records annually until the entire collection is available to view online.
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.