WW1 soldiers’ wills released

800px-Burial_of_the_WWI_Unknown_Soldier_7To mark 100 years since the outbreak of World War One, the National Records of Scotland have digitised the wills of soldiers who died in the war. They want to give people a better understanding of what life was like on the battlefield for Scottish soldiers. Reading the Wills that men wrote while at war is very insightful and will help people connect on an emotional level with men who died a century ago.

Wills from 26,000 soldiers will be made available to read online. These include wills from Private Alexander Craig and John Wood who were part of the Gordon Highlanders. In this article the BBC details how both privates were killed in action, aged just 25 and 18 respectively.

The National Records has so many Wills from fallen soldiers as during World War One, men’s Wills were sent to the Commissary Office in Edinburgh to be kept safe. It was important for soldiers to leave Wills so that their families back home did not miss out on any money or property that would help them survive in such harsh times.

Although a difficult subject, leaving a will is something everybody should be thinking about. It’s vital to leave a Will, in order to help your loved ones understand your wishes. When somebody dies it’s immensely more difficult and stressful for family members if they have financial and legal worries as a result of there being no Will.

If you need help planning your will, read through the advice on the Saga website which will help you decide how best to organise your estate. Their advice tells you how to set up a Trust, how to organise Lasting Power of Attorney and other points that you should be thinking about.

Today it is a lot simpler to set up a Will than it was in World War One, when soldiers had just a piece of paper to scribble on and hope it made its way back home. The National Records have announced that the wills of Scottish soldiers will be available to look at online from May this year. It will be both sad and interesting to see what provisions soldiers made for their families back in England. Also we will be able to see how hard it was for them writing their Wills on the battlefield, knowing there was a chance they would never make it home.

Content supplied by Saga