In further moves to mark the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War, more than 30,000 wills have been published online on The National Records of Scotland. Some of the wills include descendants of modern-day celebrities, including Private John Feeley, the great-great grandfather of singer Paolo Nutini who died during the Battle of Arras in 1917. Actor Brian Cox’s Uncle, Andrew Cox, died during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915, aged 22. His will is also being published online.
The records include the wills of soldiers from the First and Second World Wars, the Boer War, Korean War, and other battles between 1857 and 1964. The First World War has the weightiest number of wills, however, with 26,000 out of the total of 30,000.
Tim Ellis, registrar general and keeper of the records of Scotland, said that the wills ‘give us a unique insight into the service of Scottish soldiers during the First and Second World Wars, but also in other conflicts before and since.’ Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop claims that ‘These small but powerful documents are a testament to the sacrifice in wartime made by thousands of Scots, not only the soldiers themselves, but also their families and loved ones.’
To search for wills and see more information for yourself, have a look here.