Aitken Wishart was born in Dumfries in 1886. He was the second of six children born to a printer’s compositor from Kirkcaldy – also called Aitken, and his wife Catherine. Before the war, he worked as a postal clerk and joined the Royal Engineers in Ayr at the end of 1915 under the Derby Scheme. He left for Mesopotamia (Iraq) the following summer and was assigned to the 1st/3rd IAC Signal Company in Basra. Unfortunately, as a child, Aitken had suffered from psoriasis, which flared up shortly after he arrived with his new unit, and consequently, he spent long periods in the hospital over the next two years.
In the summer of 1918 he was sent to India, where he joined the Signal Service Depot, however, his affliction dogged the rest of his military career and he was eventually discharged unfit for further service in February 1919 and sent home.
After the war, Aitken left Scotland for New Zealand, where he married Adeline Southgate and had four daughters with her. Until the early 1940s, the family lived in Henderson –a suburb of Auckland before moving to Sydney, New South Wales.
At the time of his death in November 1953, Aitken had been working as a clerk and was living at 3 Crown Street in East Sydney. He was buried in the Botany Presbyterian Cemetery.
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