France & Flanders

Killed in action on the Somme north of Maricourt is 350451 Pte. James Smith Wishart of the 18th (Royal Glasgow Yeomanry) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. During the day his unit had faced heavy enemy shelling and persistent infantry attacks to the extent that ammunition ran short and the only means of replenishing it came from the casualties. After twelve hours of desperate fighting, the Germans ceased their advance, and in the early hours of the following morning, the Highlanders were able to evacuate the line. James’ body was later identified and buried in the Bronfray Farm Military Cemetery. He is also commemorated on the Whalsay War Memorial and part of tree WIS0103.

Losing his life on the same day near the town of Bapaume is 89126 Spr. James Shanks Wishart of the 237th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Born in Carnwath, Lanarkshire in 1876, James was the son of a coal miner from Leven and before arriving in France in January 1918, had seen overseas service in Salonika during 1916.

He was initially recorded as ‘missing in action’ and having received the news about her husband, his wife Elizabeth wrote to the War Office on 8 May asking if any further information had been forthcoming in anticipation that perhaps he had been found in a hospital. A week later she received a reply stating that the situation had not changed and that she would be informed should there be any further news. The uncertainty lasted until 23 January 1919 when James was recorded as officially considered as having died on 25 March. His body was discovered after the war and reburied in the Adanac Military Cemetery in Miraumont on the Somme. He is part of tree WIS0098.