Today saw the launch of www.gov.uk/probate-search. This is a service that allows people to access the wills of soldiers from England and Wales who died on active service between 1850 and 1986. As a bonus, it is possible that the documentation will include the soldier’s final letter home that he will have written in case he was killed on service.
If, like me, you have such a relative, the will is likely to give you more information on your family tree, and give you further insight into that ancestor.
So, all keen, I searched online and found one of my two GG Uncles who were killed on the Somme in 1916. Hurrah! And of course *click*
Create an account (another damn password!)
#FAIL – the payment system is still programmed to the test account, and in German too (no irony there at all, oh no)
So I then click on the link for feedback and send them the image (now pretty *&%^% off that my relative’s will is still tantalisingly just out of reach)
An email comes back, with a phone number. The email is from the Office of the Public Guardian. Which has nothing to do with this site!!! I call the number, and sure enough the civil servant on the end of the line has no knowledge of this, cannot even get to the website, and has nothing to offer me in terms of alternative help.
Remind me, how much of our income is taken each year by the government?
To be fair, this is shown as a beta site, but you think *someone* would have tested the payments and feedback sections at least once…