Over one million online searches for war heroes’ wills

A huge collection of messages from Britain’s fallen First World War heroes has been viewed online more than one million times.

The documents, detailing soldiers’ last wishes, were put online last year by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to enable people to search for what may have been the final messages sent home by their relatives.

Every soldier had to complete a will before they headed to the front line so their estate could be dealt with if they lost their life. They carried a copy with them and many used the will to write letters to their loved ones, expressing their feelings. Many of the historic documents show the physical damage suffered in the war.

The digitised documents are part of the huge archive of 41 million wills preserved by Iron Mountain on behalf of HMCTS.

Phil Greenwood, Commercial Director at Iron Mountain, said:

“Iron Mountain is working with HM Courts & Tribunals Service to preserve and protect the precious paper documents. The easy to use web portal has made it straightforward for anyone to request scanned copies of the wills.

The fact so many searches have been made just one year on from the online launch is testament to our nation’s pride in those who gave their lives for our future.”

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