11770 Pte. George Wishart (1893 – 1916)
George Wishart was born on 23 March 1893 in Kenmay, Aberdeenshire the third of five children of George Wishart, a Postman from Old Meldrum and his wife, Jessie McPetrie. The family lived the Post Office buildings, and by the start of the war in 1914, George had left school and was working as a watchmaker for a Mr W. Bremner.
Like thousands of other enthusiastic volunteers, George rushed to enlist and joined the Scots Guards at Muthil, Perthshire on 23 October 1914 and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion. He saw overseas service in France from 18 November 1915 when he joined the 1st Battalion and would have spent the winter of 1915/16 based between Laventie and Merville before moving towards Flanders at the end of February.
At the beginning of March George would have been based in the Ypres area, and on the 26th the battalion went into the trenches at Hooge. These were noted as being kept in a very bad condition, and it seems likely George was employed in repairs during this period.
The battalion remained in the Ypres Salient for the whole of May. A regimental history written after the war recorded it as an ‘uneventful month’ with the 1st Battalion suffering casualties of four ranks killed and eleven wounded. Unfortunately, George was one of the four and lost his life on 1 May.
Capt. W. Gillieson wrote of George’s death:
He and two others offered to undertake the particularly dangerous duty of going out in front of our first line into a listening post about half-way between us and the enemy. It was a post which had been occupied with safety on several previous occasions, but the enemy had evidently seen and marked it, and this night on which your son went to it, it was found by the little party of three to be in the occupation of the enemy. At once the enemy opened fire on them, and of the three two were killed outright, and one received seven wounds. The following night two of our men went out and brought in your son’s body, and I buried it. Your son and his comrade were both buried in the same grave. We shall sorely miss your boy. He was a brave, good soldier, who always did his duty, and did it in a thorough, capable and cheerful fashion.
George was buried in Plot B.22 of the Potijze Chateau Wood Cemetery.
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