306294 SPO David William Wishart (1886 – 1958)
David William Wishart was born in Portsea, Hampshire on 28 August 1886. He was the eldest of four children of David Wishart, a rivetter from Perth who was serving with the Royal Marines Artillery, and his wife Elizabeth Sarah Aslett. In 1888, after twenty-one years of service, David Snr’s time with the Marines came to an end and he moved his family back to Scotland and settled in Clydebank, where he found work as an iron driller in the shipyards, however in 1894, when his oldest was seven, David died suddenly of pneumonia. After this tragic event for the family, Elizabeth decided to return to Portsmouth (her hometown) with her children and lived in a terraced house on Londesborough Road. On 15 April 1904 young David lied about his age (he claimed he was born in 1885 – making him eighteen years old) and joined the Royal Navy as a stoker (2nd Class.)
He initially served on HMS Nelson, which was an armoured cruiser built in 1876 being used as a training ship at that time, before being transferred to the Fire Queen on 10 September. He would go on to serve on HMS Prince George (1905, 1906-07), Victory (1906 & 1907), Enchantress (1907 -08), Barfleur (1908-09), Terrible (1909), Achilles (1909 – 1911), Vernon (1911), Excellent (1911 – 1914) and the Hecla when war with Germany broke out in August 1914. The Hecla formed part of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla at Scapa Flow between 1914-16 with David serving on board as a stoker until April 1915 when he spent a year based back at the Royal Naval Training Division in Crystal Palace before transferring to the newly launched HMS Royal Sovereign in April 1916. The Sovereign was not yet ready to take part in the Battle of Jutland in May but remained part of the Grand Fleet until the end of the war. In May 1915 David would have heard the sad news that his younger brother Henry had been killed at the front near Festubert.
On 8 May 1918 David attained the rating of Stoker Petty Officer, and in 1919 he married a local lass from Portsmouth named Florence Annie Grant. Having served for 23-years he eventually left the Navy 0n 14 April 1927.
Following a very brief spell back with the Navy in 1938, David would eventually work live out the rest of his days in Portsmouth working as a refuse driver and died on 31 August 1958 – less than a year earlier than his wife.
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