The Will of Thomas Lewis of Old Court Bosbury, 1916
Summary:  On joining the army, a soldier was issued with an Army Pay Book (AB64) which had to be kept with him at all times. One of the few times he would be parted from his pay book would be if he was involved in a trench raid when all identification was removed. The Pay Book contained details of the soldier’s next of kin, some medical information as well as records of his training history. It also contained a form on which the soldier could complete his will. If he died the will would be retrieved, if possible, from his pay book. This is one such will.

These were the instructions on page 12 in the pay book for using the will form:

If a soldier on active service, or under orders for active service, wishes to make a short will, he may do so on the opposite page. It must be entirely in his own handwriting and must be signed by him and dated. The full names and addresses of the persons whom he desires to benefit, and the sum of money and the articles of property he desires to leave to them must be clearly stated. The mere entry of the name of an intended legatee on the opposite page without any mention of what the legatee is to receive is of no legal value.

The date of the will is only given as October 22 but we know he married in England in August 1916 and in the will he leaves everything to his wife. He died in France in April 1917.

This will is held at The National Archives, Kew, ref. not known.
B S Sharples 2017

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