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Explore more aspects of everyday life in Scotland and military services during the Second World War from the Scottish Life Archive and our collection.

Everyday life

Wedding of Lilian and George Allan, Caithness, 1940s.

Evacuees from Edinburgh arriving at Buckie Railway Station, 1939.

Woman and small girl making butter, Lewis, Ross-shire, 1940s.

Air Raid Precautions Wardens, Musselburgh, Midlothian, September 1944.

Group of raspberry pickers from Paisley, photographed in Perthshire, 1942.

The Home Guard at Addiewell, West Calder, Midlothian, 1939 - 1945.

The Civil Defence Messenger Service, Dundee, 15 November 1941.

After a Christening at Dunfermline, Fife, 1939.

Group of Women's Timber Corps members, Glendoick, Perthshire, May 1943.

Two women by the Church of Scotland Travelling Canteen, 1939 - 1945.

Casualty staff at Robroyston Hospital, Glasgow, 1939 - 1945.


Military service

C. and J. Kidd, both in military services, at Renfrew, Renfrewshire, September 1945.

The 51st Highland Division Pipe Band, formed in 1942, at Oflag VII B Prisoner of War camp, Eichstett, Germany, c.1943.

Women's Royal Naval Service mechanic, connected to the H.M.S. Daedalus.

Second World War Royal Fleet Reserve, group photograph of ship's crew on foredeck of destroyer, 1940s.

Polish soldiers watching over German Prisoners of War, 1939 - 1945.

No. 6 Troop, No. 11 Commando, printed in a German prisoner-of-war camp after Lance Corporal John Orton's capture during the Gazala / Tmimi operations, c. 1941.

Official photograph of all three Biggin Hill WAAFs awarded the Military Medal for gallantry, relating to the service of Corporal Elspeth Henderson.

Scottish Life Archive

Through images and film archive, the Scottish Life Archive includes aspects of Scotland's rural, urban, maritime and industrial communities, such as housing, work, warfare, leisure, customs and religion, all arranged by subject.

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Art of the Second World War

Discover a range of individual experiences and expressions of identity in the Second World War depicted in paintings, drawings and pastels from the military collection.

  • War Art7

    Magazine picture of a painting by Dame Laura Knight depicting Corporal Elspeth Henderson and another WAAF decorated for bravery. Henderson was awarded the Military Medal for her bravery during an air raid at RAF Biggin Hill on 1st September 1940. She carried on with her vital job even after the building she was working on received a direct hit from a bomb. On display in Fortunes of War at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

  • War Art6

    Captain Benjamin Bryant DSO, DSC, Royal Navy, by the Scottish artist Robert Sivell. Ben Bryant was one of the most successful British submarine commanders of the Second World War. This portrait was painted in 1945 when he was commanding the 3rd Submarine Flotilla at HMS Forth, the submarine depot ship in the Holy Loch, Firth of Clyde.

  • M199643 01664

    Ian Eadie was an unofficial war artist who served with the 51 Highland Division from 1940-45. This 1946 oil painting depicts the destruction and desolation he saw in 1944 at Ouistreham, a village on the River Orne in Normandy, France. The painting is on display in In Defence at the National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle.

  • Il200418 006630

    Short Stirlings – The Return of MacRobert’s Reply, 1941 by Charles Cundall. This aircraft was named ‘MacRobert’s Reply’ in memory of two brothers, both pilots, killed in 1941 on active service with the Royal Air Force. The MacRobert family crest and badge can be seen on the side of the aircraft. It was named at the request of Lady MacRobert, who donated £25,000 to pay for a bomber as ‘a mother’s immediate reply’ to the loss of her sons. On display at the National War Museum.

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