The National Archives of Ireland
Soldiers' Wills

How to Search

There are 6 fields which can be used for searching. The fields can be used alone or in combination with other fields.


The wills are arranged by date of probate, not date of death.  In many cases this would have been months, if not years, after the individual died.


The first name or first initial of an individual soldier can be entered into this field. A search by this field alone will return all individuals with this forename or initial.


A search by the surname of an individual soldier will return all records for soldiers with that surname. Where soldiers have an alternative spelling of their last name, or have a known alias, the alternative spelling or alias has been included and will show a result.

War Office (WO) Number

The War Office assigned their own administrative reference number to each of the wills processed and the collection is arranged physically by the WO number. This reference number is unique to each soldier, and so when searching by the WO number only a result for a particular individual will be given.

In a small number of cases a soldier may have made more than one will.  The War Office processed each of these wills and assigned the same reference number to each will.

Service Number

Most men serving in the World War I had a service number. The Army did however re-use service numbers and so there may be more than one result when searching by the service number.

War Office (WO) Date

This is the date on which the War Office processed the will of the individual soldier.

Date of Death

A search of this field will return all serving men who died on a particular date.

If users have any queries or feedback on the Soldiers’ Wills site please email to