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Historical Wills of Scottish Soldiers Go Online

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Historical Wills of Scottish Soldiers Go Online

The last wishes of Scottish soldiers at the Front: The National Records of Scotland release Soldiers’ Wills from WW1, WW2, the Boer War, Korean War and other conflicts between 1857 and 1964

The wills of 31,000 Scottish soldiers are being made available online by the National Records of Scotland as part of commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The poignant documents include the last wishes of 26,000 ordinary Scottish soldiers who died in the Great War.

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The new records contain the wills for ancestors of some famous Scots. For instance, John Feeley, the great-great-grandfather of the Paisley musician, Paolo Nutini, is included. Private Feeley served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and died of wounds sustained during the Battle of Arras on 23 April 1917. Feeley left all of his property and effects to his wife, Annie, who lived until 1964.

Researchers at the National Records of Scotland have also discovered the will of Andrew Cox, the uncle of Dundee-born actor, Brian Cox. A rope-worker before the war, Private Andrew Cox served with the Highland Light Infantry and was killed in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, aged 22 – sadly, his body was never identified. Like many unmarried soldiers, Andrew Cox left all of his possessions to his mother, Elizabeth.

The records are drawn from all the Scottish infantry and cavalry regiments, as well as the Royal Artillery, Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Army Service Corps, the Machine Gun Corps and other units, and a few who served in the Royal Flying Corps and the RAF. Almost all the wills were written by soldiers below officer rank, but some wills for commissioned officers are also included.

In addition to the wills from the Great War, there are almost 5,000 from Scots soldiers serving in all theatres during the Second World War, several hundred from the Boer War and Korean War, and wills from other conflicts between 1857 and 1964.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:

“These small but powerful documents are a testament to the sacrifice in wartime made by thousands of Scots, not only the soldiers themselves, but also their families and loved ones.”

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“We are privileged to be marking the centenary of the start of the First World War by making these remarkable records available. They give us a unique insight into the service of Scottish soldiers during the First and Second World Wars, but also in other conflicts before and since.”

Annelies van den Belt, the CEO of DC Thomson Family History, who enable the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

“We’re very pleased to add this new set of records to the ScotlandsPeople site. These fascinating documents make for poignant reading and we’re sure that anyone who views the wills will feel a strong emotional connection to those who lost their lives in these conflicts.”

The Soldiers’ Wills are available at www.ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Paisley Talent!

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Are you the next
Paolo Nutini or Leona Lewis?
We are looking for the following under 25s
Solo Vocalists
Solo Instrumentalists
Vocalist Groups (no bands)
Fantastic prizes for the winners!
You MUST be available for the heats:
6 – 9 pm Friday 14th May
and
1 – 4 pm Saturday 22nd May

Application form right here..

Glen Cinema Disaster, Film.

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BUDDIES are being asked to help fund a film that will tell the story of Paisley’s worst-ever loss of life.

December 31 is the 80th anniversary of the Glen Cinema Disaster in which 71 young lives were lost.

Now, the Paisley Development Trust is working with Paul Mothersole, director of the Glen Cinema exhibition, which was staged five years ago, to make a DVD that aims to be a lasting memorial to the dead.

A total of £1,500 is needed to bring the project about and, so far, just £300 has been raised.

Piero Pieraccini, of the Paisley Development Trust, said: “Production costs are running at £150 per day and full use has been made of the available resources.

“We are running out of cash to complete filming and to print the film. There are about 10 days of work needed to finalise it and make it ready for a final viewing.

“In short what we desperately require is £1,500.

“We have approached the usual funding bodies but with no positive response.”

Mr Pieraccini, who is well-known as the boss of Paisley watering hole Hamishes Hoose, is appealing to businesses and individuals to consider donating cash, no matter how little, to the project.

“Even a small amount from individuals would be helpful,” he said.

“There is a lot of footage of survivors from the original exhibition that has never been seen and we would want to include that in the DVD.

“It would be on sale to the public but we would also distribute it to schools so that kids can see what happens. We want to keep it fresh in people’s minds.”

It was on Hogmanay 1929 that excited youngsters packed into the Glen Cinema, at Paisley Cross.

Smoke was detected, there was a shout of “Fire!” and a crush ensued in which more than 70 children died.

Buddies have never forgotten what happened to this day.

A plaque commemorates the disaster at the site of the cinema, which is now a furniture store.

Mr Pieraccini, right, spoke directly to Buddies: “If you can assist in helping us find the balance or would like to make a contribution to our costs, your help would not only be very much appreciated by us but by the whole of Renfrewshire.”

Anyone wishing to pledge cash can do so by emailing paisley_development_trust@yahoo.co.uk or by sending a cheque, made out to the trust, care of Renfrewshire Council for Voluntary Service, 27 Clark Street, Paisley.