118458 A-Mech David Jolly Smith Wishart (1900 – 1977)

Tree: WIS0109

David Jolly Smith Wishart was born on 2 January 1900 at 183 Crossloan Road in the Govan District of Glasgow. He was the last of six children of John Wishart, a ship’s joiner from Montrose, and his wife, Betsy Dunbar Fettes. After leaving school David took up an apprenticeship with a local turner and following the outbreak of war, enlisted on 28 May 1915 when he was just fifteen-years-old. Joining in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Cameron Highlanders, David, who undoubtedly lied about his age on his attestation form, managed 125 days in the Army before he was ‘found out’ and was discharged from service on 30 September.

As the war rumbled on young David’s enthusiasm for getting into the conflict did not subside, and seven days after his eighteenth birthday he joined the Royal Flying Corps as a second class air mechanic. At the time his services were surplus to requirements and he was eventually called up on 20 April with newly formed Royal Air Force. Following a brief period of basic military training and drill, David was assigned to No.1 Air Repair Depot at Farnborough where he trained as a rigger before being transferred to No.5 ARD in Henlow, Bedfordshire during July.

After the Armistice, David was demobilised from service on 13 March 1919 and returned to Glasgow, where he married Isabella McBirney on 6 April 1920 with two children were born of the union in 1920 and 1922. The family lived in Springburn and David worked as a joiner until retirement. On 18 July 1939, shortly before the start of the Second World War, David enlisted for four years in Class “E” of the RAF Reserve which was eligible to ex-regular airmen with a reserve obligation and mostly made up of men who had served during WW1 – many of whom were too old to be of further use.

David died aged 77 in Glasgow during 1977 – sixteen years after Isabella.

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