HC Deb 22 July 1941 vol 373 cc806-7W
Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the decision in the Probate Court with regard to wills of military men killed in air raids; whether he is aware that this decision may invalidate many military wills; and whether he will consider if any change in the law is thereby rendered necessary?

The Attorney-General

The reference in the Question of my hon. and gallant Friend appears to be to the case of "In the goods of Gibson," where it was decided that an officer of the Army Dental Corps who was killed in an air raid in his own house near the military camp in England where his duties had to be performed was not in actual military service within the meaning of the Wills Act, 1837. In this connection I would call my hon. and gallant Friend's attention to the case of Spark, deceased, reported in the "Times" of 16th July, where it was decided that the nuncupative will of a soldier who died as a result of wounds received in an air raid on the camp in which he was stationed could be admitted to probate as having been made while he was a soldier in actual military service. My Noble Friend will give careful consideration to the question whether the law on this matter needs any clarification or amendment.

Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to a recent law case in which a decision was given invalidating a soldier's will made in an Army pocket-book; and whether he has any statement to make concerning the conditions under which such wills may be made?

The Attorney-General

I have been unable to trace a case in which any question arose as to the validity of a disposition made in an Army pocket book. On the general issue raised in the Question I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to-day to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Petersfield (Sir G. Jeffreys) of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.

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