Ireland: Will of Private John Brady, October 1916.
Repository name: National Archives of Ireland
Item reference: NAI/CS/HC/PO/E378224/1
This document is from the Soldiers' Wills collection held by the National Archives of Ireland. These are the wills of Irishmen who served in the British Army prior to Irish independence in 1922. The earliest will dates from 1856 and the majority of the collection dates from the First World War (1914–1918). The wills are of non-commissioned men who were encouraged by the army to make a will before leaving for active service. Most of the wills were made on short forms which were in the men's army service books. In cases where there were no wills, letters to friends or relatives in which the soldier stated his wish for them to receive his effects on his death were accepted in lieu of a formal will.
Private John Brady served with the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles and died in action in France between 23–26 October 1916. Private Brady had not made a formal will. In a letter written to a family friend, Mrs Byrne of Navan, county Meath, he stated that ‘I have made my will in your favour so what money I don't get you will get' and this was accepted by the War Office in place of a will. Private Brady's remains were never located and his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial at the Somme.
There are 9,244 records in the Soldiers' Wills collection and the National Archives of Ireland has made them available free online to mark the centenary of the First World War.
No 9618 Rfm J Brady 2nd R. I Rifles
7th Brigade 3rd Division British Expty [Expeditionary] Force
I have made my will in
your favour before but I was
afraid to say so when I was home
I have arrived in France safe and sound and am in to the fighting once more. I have seen the Priest before I left Dublin. I hope you are quiet [quite] well and Mr Byrne too. Did you get any word from James yet. Is Prinse and the pup there yet. Let me tell you this the morning before I left Dublin I had to alter my allowance owing to this if you were in need I could leave nine pence a day and the government would add some more to it making it 12/6 per week but they would send an Officer round to see if you were in need so I said you were not in need of it so under the rule I could only leave six pence which I have done. Let me no [know] if you have received it yet. │I have made my will in your favour so what money I don't get you will get. │ I hope all the friends are all well. Goodbye God bless you.
Send me some ciggretts [cigarettes] and matches