Military Monday – New WWI Wills

A recent BBC website article gave details of a new online service from HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
Soldiers’ wills proved between 1850 and 1986 are being made available to search and download – the first batch being from between the years 1914 and 1921.

The search is available here.  It costs £6 to download a will, and can take up to 10 days after purchase for the document to be available for download; mine took 2 days.  The site is a work in progress so if you don’t find anything after your first search it would be worth checking back every so often for updates.

I ran a couple of searches for the Richardson brothers who died during the First World War, and although I was unsuccessful with William Richardson – I did manage to find his older brother, Harold.

Some of the wills include detailed bequests to family members and others have letters written to loved ones in the event of their deaths.

Harold’s will is much more basic, but it confirms his service details and his date and place of death.

Because Harold was already in the army and not with his family in the 1911 census, I wasn’t entirely sure I had the right military details for him.

The will confirms that I have, as it leaves his estate to his father, Robert, whose address matches with other sources I have for him.

So another very useful resource.

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