Saturday 13 January 2018

Scottish WW1 Pensions Appeal records update

Some welcome news concerning a potentially major resource in Edinburgh for those researching First World War military ancestors from Scotland and their dependants.

I've been contacted by reader Tunji Lees, to provide an update on a discovery he made over 5 years ago at the National Records of Scotland, and for which he wrote a great guest post for this blog. As noted on 2 JAN 2012, Tunji had found that the NRS held Scottish WW1 Pension Appeals Tribunal records, as catalogued under PT6. The key points were as follows:

The records are catalogued under the reference PT6 and contain the pension application records of 1000s of Scottish soldiers - and next of kin of soldiers (usually widows) - who suffered from injuries sustained in the war, or died after the war due to injuries. These appear to be the Scottish equivalent of the PIN26 series for England and Wales (which, unlike the Scottish PT6 series, is indexed). Whereas the PT26 series appears to only be a selection of the disability pensions awarded to English and Welsh soldiers after the First World War, the Scottish PT6 series appears to be complete...

The applications are organised in boxes alphabetically by month, from November 1919 (reference PT6/1), to December 1932 (reference PT6/288). That's about 29 meters (or 95 feet) of pension records! There are also records from the same series covering post-WW2 disability pension applications, however seeing as they are closed for 75 years, the first set (those from 1945) will only be available in 2021.

It doesn't appear as if any genealogists are aware of the existence of these records, as they aren’t mentioned in the NAS publication Tracing your Scottish Ancestors, or in any guides to tracing WW1 ancestry that I've read, although they're a fantastic source of information on Scottish army ancestors.

Tunji's full account of these records, including the potential detail available in each file, is available at

Tunji has now contacted me with the news that the charitable foundation Wellcome Trust has apparently approved a Research Resource Grant for work to index the records. The grant is believed to fund work for 24 months, which potentially means the job will have been completed by the end of December 2019. Tunji has also stated that as it is a grant, indexed records will be made available free of charge, posisble through the ScotlandsPeople website. It is unclear as yet whether this will just be the index, or digital images of the records themselves. Tunji's final point is that the records, referenced under PT6, have disappeared from the catalogue, perhaps because they have been removed for indexing.

Once again a huge thank you to Tunji for such a fascinating update on a collection with a great deal of potential for ancestral research!


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