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First World War wills

Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:21 am

I thought it would be easy and cheap to search these wills that have been released today, nothing of the sort as you have to pay £6 and also know the rough date of death. So wills for those soldiers who did not die are not there. Why do they give the work to private companies?, the National Records of Scotland have their wills for the period open and searchable and then you can ask for a copy or visit Edinburgh. It seems that Government is giving private companies more and more of our public records rather than transferring them to the national archive!.

Re: First World War wills

Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:00 pm

Hi junkers ,

I just had a look at this myself and searching is actually free . The six pounds comes in if you want a copy of the will. In an ideal world I'm sure we'd all like things to be free , but this is the same price as a will from the Probate Office so I suppose it's reasonable.

Here's a link to the page in case anyone else is interested :



Re: First World War wills

Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:22 pm

I have been trying all day to buy one with no luck - anyone managed it ?

I have two ww1 deaths - one is listed there, the other is not...

Wonder where all the wills and letters are that the soldiers who survived made, I haven't seen anything about them, were they given back after ?

Re: First World War wills

Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:45 pm

Whilst searching maybe free this is a creaping sell-off of our national archives and if Scotland can do it why cannot England?. It appears that these wills only include those people that died although the logic is that they should be for those who died and those that did not. Given that the wills proved at the PCC (Prerogative Court of Canterbury) are at The National Archives why are these not, they did after all start in the War Office. The collection would have been effectively the Government's records and therefore subject to the Official Secrets Act and not returned in most circumstances. In years to come will anyone remember where these wills are?.

Re: First World War wills

Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:29 am

I, too, have been unable to buy a will from the new government probate search website which went online on 29th August. I have found a WW1 soldier's will that I want, but after it has been added to the basket, the bit where you pay doesn't work. I'm not impressed! There has been a lot of hype about the release of this new database. You would think they would test that it works before going online.

Re: First World War wills

Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:42 am

Grandma Hillbilly,

Yesterday I clicked the send us feedback at the top and told them it wouldn't let me buy one.
I had a reply with the e-mail address of the lady who deals with that part.
I e-mailed her and had an ' I am out of the office until the 30th' message back.......
Hoping to get a reply today and will post her response here.
I have tried again this morning to buy the one I want but it's still not working !!

Re: First World War wills

Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:39 pm

Had a message to say that Barclaycard were experiencing problems yesterday with payments but all is now resolved........

Re: First World War wills

Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:42 pm

hang on - no it's not, I just tried and I still can't buy one - agh !!!

Re: First World War wills

Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:40 pm

Just had this email -

Hi, I am just on the phone to Barclaycard now it seems there is a problem with the way of accessing the site, please do try again and I will update you one I have any news
Apologies for the inconvenience

Re: First World War wills

Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:56 pm

Now received this and HOORAY it works :o)

We have now ascertained the problem is with a link.
Please use


which should now work
Thank you for your patience
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