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1st/5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders

Soldiers' Wills


 A soldier's pay book Army Book 64 (AB64) was issued upon enlistment and contained records such as next of kin, medical information, employment and training history.  It also contained a page for his Will. This was usually writtten in a standard format, beginning "In the event of my death..."

This type of informal Will was generally unwitnessed, and was written and signed by the soldier when under orders for active service, or during active service. He could write another Will when issued with a new pay book, and if he died his most recent Will would be retrieved, if possible, from his pay book.

The three Wills shown here are for members of the 1st/5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders and all were written while the men were in training at Bedford.

George Watt and William Graham were killed in action at Festubert on 3rd June 1915. See Piper Article for additional information regarding Piper Graham. Peter Taylor was killed in action on 8th July 1915. The document "Informal Will - W.O No. E" was prepared by the War Office and accompanied the Will after the soldier's death.




Above. Blank Will form and instructions for completion. (Photograph courtesy of David O'Mara )

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Carolyn Morrisey