266633 Pte. Edward Wishart (1895 – 1973)

Tree: WIS0004

Edward Wishart was born on 2 November 1895 in Forgan, Fife and the third of seven children of Lawrence Wishart, a railway porter from Leuchars, and his wife, Helen Johnstone. By 1901 the family had moved to Fernbrae in Wormit and about the age of fifteen young Edward found work as an insurance clerk with the State Assurance Company in Dundee.

It’s not known exactly when Edward enlisted in the Army, however, casualty lists published in 1918 show that it was in Wormit and that he joined the 1/6th (Perthshire) Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders.) Unfortunately, Edward’s service papers have not survived and so his exact movements during the war are unclear. Based on his medal index card he must have proceded overseas to France during 1916, or later, and is known to have been with the battalion, which formed part of the 153rd Brigade in the 51st (Highland) Division, by the spring of 1918 during the time of the Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser’s Battle) which is also known as the German Spring Offensive.

A week before the attack, which began on 21 March, the battalion had gone into the front line west of Cambrai near Pronville. The Germans began their assault at 5:30 am on the 21st with a terrific artillery barrage that lasted most of the morning and was followed by a massed infantry assault that drove the divisions right and left of Edward’s position back through sheer weight of numbers. The Black Watch bore the brunt of the enemy artillery along their divisional front, and during the day were also forced to retire. In the action, Edward was shot in his ‘lower extremities’ and evacuated to the 77th Field Ambulance from where he was eventually sent to a base hospital. At some point, Edward was transferred into the 4/5th and then 8th Black Watch and was demobilised from service in 1919.

After the war, he returned to working in insurance and joined the Caledonian Insurance Company in Dundee and in his non-working life became the treasurer of the Wormit Literary Society, the secretary of the Wormit Bay Golf Club and a member of the choir of Wormit West Church. In January 1930 he was promoted to his company’s head office in Edinburgh where he took up residence at 26 Shandon Crescent. A year later on 9 September 1931, Edward married Mary Smith Davidson at his old church in Wormit and subsequently took her back to Edinburgh where they lived at 25 Carfrae Gardens. Two daughters were born of the marriage and Edward worked his way up the company to an executive level. He died at home on 30 April 1973 – two years after his wife.

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