National Records of Scotland

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“Land Girls” records released online

“Land Girls” records released online

Thursday, 9 Nov 2023
“Land Girls” records released online image

A champion plough girl and a Dundee woman who worked on the Queen Mother’s estate at Glamis Castle are among thousands of so-called “Land Girls” whose details can now be searched on the ScotlandsPeople website for the first time.

National Records of Scotland (NRS) has released digitised copies of the employment records of members of the Scottish Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps, who worked in fields and forests to keep the nation fed and warm during World War II.

Users can now access 10,000 handwritten index cards with details of the women working in traditional male jobs to keep up supplies of food and fuel from 1939 to 1950.

Among them are Betty Reid, star of the 1942 propaganda film “Land Girl” after she was hailed “Champion Plough-Girl of Scotland” in a ploughing competition, and Dundee woman Wilhelmina Robertson, who had worked at Glamis Castle, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

NRS archivist Jessica Evershed said: 

“These records are an excellent historical resource for researchers piecing together details of these women’s lives. The Scottish Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps was critical during a time of desperate crisis, helping to produce food and timber. 

“Putting these records online allows people all over the world to research their relatives, or to just investigate the history of the famous “Land Girls” for themselves.” 

The cards give names, ages, dates of service, insight into their training and more. A few include comments on their experience, aptitudes and work ethic, as well as noting awards for dedicated service. These records contain details of women born up to 1922. Further records will be added to the website annually.