WWII British Women’s Land Army records

UK WWII Women's Land Army WLA
FOR A HEALTHY, HAPPY JOB – JOIN THE WOMEN’S LAND ARMY (Art.IWM PST 6078) Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/36790

The UK National Archives announced today (Sept. 22, 2022) that Ancestry.com has digitized and made available more than 90,000 “Women’s Land Army” (WLA) index cards. These records contain information about British women who served in the WLA during World War II. These women performed a variety of tasks, all aimed at increasing the food supply for the country during wartime. They worked in farms and gardens, with pigs and chickens, and even catching and eliminating rodents. Prior to WWII, a lot of the food for British citizens had been imported, so during wartime, it was important to be able to be more self-sufficient in this regard.

A concise history of the Women’s Land Army can be found at the Imperial War Museum website, here.

What Will You Find?

According to Ancestry.com, the records in this collection contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Any known aliases, including maiden names
  • Address
  • Employment county
  • Employment place
  • Birthdate
  • Age at enrollment
  • Date of enrollment
  • Occupation
  • Date of employment
  • Date of release
  • WLA membership number

If you have female ancestors who lived in the UK during World War II, it would definitely be a great place to check for more information about them. Do consider that most “Land Girls” were single, so be sure to search by maiden name as well.

I ran a quick search on one of my British ancestral surnames and would not be surprised if Miss Dylis Margaret Pritchard is a relative, as she was evidently “unwilling to obey orders.”

Image Source: Ancestry.com. UK, World War II Women’s Land Army Index Cards, 1939-1948 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2022. Original data:MAF 421: Ministry of Food: Women’s Land Army: Index to Service Records of the Second World War. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives.

Every little bit of information on our ancestors helps us understand their lives and times. I hope this database helps you as well!

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