France & Flanders

Arriving in France six days after his wedding is 204518 Pte. Gilbert McKinnon Wishart of the Seaforth Highlanders. On arrival he is sent to the 18th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples where he is processed and assigned to the 4th Battalion.

It seems unlikely Gilbert actually joined his unit in the field, as a week later he was transferred to the Labour Corps 776 Area Employ Company. The reason given was ‘benefit of service’ which could have been that he possessed skills (in this case maybe connected to his trade as a carter) that were deemed more useful elsewhere than on the front line. He was allotted a new service number (418953) and retained infantry rates of pay. Gilbert is part of tree WIS0078.