3394 Pte. Alexander McCallum Wishart (1900 – 1953)
Born on 14 December 1900, Alexander McCallum Wishart grew up in Red Hill, a suburb of Brisbane, and was the elder son of Alfred Wishart, a photographic engraver, and his wife, Eleanor Robinson. By the time war broke out in August 1914 Alexander’s father was working as a draper and Alexander had found employment as an apprentice draftsman.
On 15 May 1917, Alexander visited the local recruiting office and joined the Australian Engineers. However, within a month, and owing to the shortage of infantry recruits, he was reassigned to the 8th Reinforcements, 42nd Infantry Battalion, who formed part of the 11th Infantry Brigade and left for England on board the HMAT Honorata on 14 June.
Alexander disembarked in Liverpool on 26 August and with his unit, made his way to Larkhill Camp on the Salisbury Plain where they became part of the 11th Training Battalion. On 5 November Alexander was transferred to the 9th Training Battalion, who were based nearby at Fovant Camp, and remained with them until February 1918 when, having been discovered to be underage, (he was only just 17) he was sent back to Australia and discharged from service.
After the war, Alexander worked as a commercial artist and lived in the Brisbane suburb of Coorparoo. In the 1930s life was tough for Alexander, and he regularly found himself without work to the extent that on one occasion he obtained money using a false cheque. “I needed the money badly,” he told the magistrate at his trial, yet he was fined £3 and ordered to make restitution of £3 in default one month’s imprisonment.
During World War Two Alexander rejoined the military and saw service with the 2nd Infantry Battalion, however, no further details of his war service are currently known.
On 18 July 1953, Alexander was knocked down by a car while walking along William Street in Sydney, and died three days later of his injuries.
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