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France & Flanders
Killed in action on the Somme at Pozières between 22-25 July 1916 is 4335 Pte. David Wishart of the 7th Battalion AIF. The battalion had gone into action on the 22nd and the Australian Red Cross wounded and missing files recorded the following statements from other men in the battalion in an effort to ascertain the circumstances under which David died.
5447 Pte. D.F. Sim reported that on 23 July he was buried by a shell in which he managed to get out, but Wishart did not and could not be recovered. 4191 Pte. A. V. Elliott said he saw ‘Wishart’ with a shrapnel wound in the leg about 4 o’clock on the 25th. 4339 Pte. Warmald said he was told by a Pte. Albert Thomas (who himself was killed) that he had seen Wishart blown to pieces by shell fire on the 25th. Another statement by a man named Elliott (possible the same as the aforementioned) claimed he saw him coming out of a trench on the 23rd with a ‘nasty wound in his leg’ and that he passed him whilst walking down the trench towards the dressing station. This was apparently in the front line to the right of Pozières and the witness said he had heard nothing of Wishart since.
Based on these it seems likely that David was wounded in the leg at some point during the first day of the battle but subsequently killed by shell fire and his body buried by the blast. He was recorded as wounded and missing for almost a year until a Court of Enquiry on 16 June 1917 declared him as officially ‘killed in action.’
David’s body lay undiscovered for over two decades until, in the spring of 1937 during some exhumation work, the Imperial War Graves Commission found the grave of an unknown soldier in the vicinity of Pozières and exhumed the body. On closer inspection portions of David’s kit bearing his regimental particulars were discovered with the corpse, and it was ascertained that they had found 4335 Pte. D. Wishart of the 7th Battalion, AIF. His father was duly notified that his son had been located. He was reburied in Grave 20, Row C, Plot 3 of the London Cemetery.
Dying of wounds received on the Somme at the Stoke Military Hospital is 5/2559 Pte. Thomas Wishart of the 5th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was buried in the Byker and Heaton Cemetery (grave D. C. 100.)