419 CSM John Wishart (1889 – 1915)
John Wishart was born on 8 November 1889 in Old Machar, Aberdeenshire. He was the son of David Wishart, a linen cloth lapper from Dunfermline, and Janet Gibson. By 1891 he was living with his family in a grey granite tenement on Rosemount Place, and ten years later nearby in a similar building at 24 Esslemont Avenue. After leaving school, John attended Robert Gordon’s Technical College, and in his civilian life before the war; John worked as a dental mechanic for Dr Elphinstone, however in 1909 he also enlisted with the 4th Battalion Gordon Highlanders (Territorial Force).
As a reservist John was mobilised immediately after the outbreak of war and went into training with his unit, eventually finding himself stationed near Bedford in early 1915. He had rejoined as a sergeant, however by the time the 4th Gordons embarked for France; he had been promoted to company sergeant-major. The Battalion arrived at Le Havre at noon on 20 February 1915 on board the Archimedes and by the end of the month were based near Ypres. John’s first experience of trench life came early in March when his unit entered the line at La Clytte.
John’s first (and last) experience of combat came on 16 June during the Battle of Bellewaarde – an action designed to stop the Germans reinforcing their lines some 50km south at Givenchy, and gain possession of the Bellewaarde Ridge. During the attack, John was pierced through the lung by shrapnel and evacuated back to England where he subsequently died of his wounds in a Woolwich hospital on 15 August.
John is buried in Greenwich Cemetery, London and commemorated in the Aberdeen Roll of Honour.
Are you related to, or think you have further details about John?
If so then I’d love to hear from you. Please click the link below or send an email to mail (at) wishart1418.org. Thank you.