France & Flanders

S/17571 Pte. Joseph ‘Joe’ Watson Wishart of the 1/4th Gordon Highlanders died of wounds in Grevillers at the 29th Casualty Clearing Station. He had been in action at the Battle of Cambrai and was caught up in an enemy counter-attack two days before he died. The official Divisional history wrote of this period that:

The situation was a precarious one. Our troops occupied the Hindenburg front line as far as Tadpole Copse inclusive; a trench had thence been hastily dug across No Man’s Land to protect the left flank. This flank was thus highly vulnerable and liable to be heavily counter-attacked. Indeed, the Germans maintained constant pressure against our troops in that part of the field by means of bombing parties, and in this respect could only be kept in check by a systematic use of rifle grenades.

Joseph was hit by a shell and died the day after his cousin Robert. He had been conscripted in March 1917 was said to have possessed a cheery disposition, took a keen interest in gardening and was also an accomplished curler. Born in Feus of Caldhame near Luthermuir, Kincardineshire during 1891 Joe had ten siblings and was one of three brothers lost to the war. The family form part of tree WIS0072.