How to look for Women’s Royal Air Force service records 1918-1920
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
What are these records?
These are the service records of around 30,000 airwomen who served with the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) between 1918 and 1920.
The women were based in Britain at first, performing roles such as drivers, mechanics, cooks or office clerks. Later around 500 women served in France and Germany. After the war Helen Gwynne-Vaughan, Commandant of the WRAF, was awarded the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in recognition of her work.
What information do the records contain?
Information on the service record can include the following:
- marital status
- details of next of kin
- statement of services and promotions
- trade or profession
- physical description
- discharge details
Occasionally there might be correspondence or notes.
How do I search the records?
You can search the records in Discovery, our catalogue, by filling in the form below.
You don’t need to complete every field to find a record.
What do the records look like?
A service record can contain one or more of the following:
- an enrolment form
- a certificate of discharge on demobilisation
- a casualty form for active service
You might also find a statement for the services form.
The image above is from the enrolment form of Mrs Elizabeth Scott who was living in Edinburgh when she joined up (catalogue reference AIR 80/213). A widow with no dependants, she was 56 at that time.
Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?
There are a number of reasons why you might not find an entry:
- no officers’ records are known to have survived
- the service record dates from after 1920. Later service records are still held by the Ministry of Defence – contact them through the Veterans UK website