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