Archivists painstakingly scanned WWI soldiers' wills

Archivists at specialist record management company Iron Mountain spent five months first indexing and then painstakingly scanning by hand First World War soldiers' wills so they could be put onto a computer and then online.

The work was undertaken under contract from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), which is responsible for the records.

John Apthorpe, commercial director of Iron Mountain, holds the will of George Peachment.
John Apthorpe, commercial director of Iron Mountain, holds the will of George Peachment. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The wills are held in a secure facility run by the company on the outskirts of Birmingham, while the digital copies are stored in a data centre in Milton Keynes.

In total, the facility houses 41 million wills and probate records dating from 1858.

Read: WW1 soldiers' wills go online

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WW1 soldiers' wills go online

The last wishes of thousands of soldiers who died during the First World War and were unseen for a century are being made available online. The wills of 230,000 British Empire soldiers have been placed on a new website for the first time.