2147648 Pte. Herbert Braebrook Wishart (1895 – 1953)

Tree: WIS0057

Herbert Braebrook Wishart was born on 27 November 1896 in the rural municipality of Silver Creek, Manitoba. He was the tenth of eleven children of Joseph James Wishart, a farmer from St Pauls, and his wife, Margaret Marianne Gowler. When old enough young Herbert helped out on his father’s farm and was working as a farmer in his own right at the time war broke out in 1914. On 7 November 1917, he underwent a medical examination at Neepawa and was called up for duty on 21 December, when he attested in Winnipeg. Herbert joined the 9th Draft of the 34th Fort Garry Horse and assigned to the Depot Squadron, which was quartered in Winnipeg. On 22 February 1918, he was knocked unconscious when hit by a streetcar and thrown on his head. Fortunately, the wound to his scalp was superficial, and he quickly returned to duty.

Herbert embarked for England from Halifax on board the SS Melita on 15 April and disembarked in Liverpool thirteen days later. Upon arrival, he was taken on strength of the Canadian Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Shorncliffe where he was stationed until 15 August when orders were received to sail for France. After disembarking on the 16th, Herbert spent a week at the Canadian General Base Depot before heading out to join his unit in the field on the 23rd. At the time, the regiment was based at Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand, and had been in action earlier in the month at Amiens. Two days after Herbert arrived, the Fort Garry Horse moved to Ligny-en-Cambrésis where they were based until the end of September during which time they moved on to the forward area at Caulaincourt. Herbert’s first taste of battle came on 9 October when the cavalrymen were tasked with seizing the high ground to the north-west of Le Cateau. The advance was slowed by heavy enemy activity at Gattigny Wood however, they fought on and by nightfall one squadron had reached the town, which was finally taken by the Royal Canadian Dragoons. During the action 16 men were killed, 40 wounded and 116 horses killed and injured. They would take no part in further actions during the war.

The Fort Garry Horse saw in the Armistice west of Tourpes. Towards the end of the previous month, men from the regiment began falling ill with influenza and it is unsuprising that Herbert succumbed himself just before Christmas, and spent a month recovering before rejoining on 21 January 1919. After a period spent on garrison duty in Belgium, the main bulk of the 34th began making their way back to England on 14 April and embarked on the USS Yale at Le Havre during the afternoon of the 18th – arriving in Southampton around midnight. A month at camp in Bramshott preceded embarkation in Liverpool on the RMS Carmania on 21 May. The voyage back to Halifax took eight days and the train journey to Winnipeg another two. Herbert, however, had been taken ill with gonorrhoea at the start of May and was undergoing treatment in hospital at Witley Camp in Surrey when his unit sailed home. He eventually left for Canada on 25 June and discharged from service in Winnipeg on 3 July.

After the war, Herbert returned to the family farm, and in 1922 he married Helen Berglove in Winnipeg. A son named Herbert was born and in 1942 the family moved to British Columbia, where they settled in Saanich. Herbert worked as a policeman with the Corps of Commissionaires until his death from cancer on 10 May 1953. He was 57 years old and buried in the Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria.

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