Alexander was born on 11 June 1895 in Edinburgh, the seventh of eight children to Alexander and Mary Jane Wishart. His father, a bell hanger from Kingskettle in Fife, died in 1902 from tuberculosis when Alexander was just seven years old. Six years later, on 25 July 1908, Alexander left Scotland for Canada with his mother and older brother William. Sailing from Glasgow on the SS Ionian, the family arrived in Quebec on 2 August and made their way to Brantford, Ontario where they were reunited with the rest of Alexander’s siblings, who had emigrated the previous year.
By 1911 Alexander had settled with his mother in Woodstock, Ontario, and had found work as an organ builder. The following year he joined the bugle band of the 22nd Regiment, The Oxford Rifles – a local militia formed in 1863.
On 24 July 1915 Alexander visited the 22nd Regiment’s headquarters in Woodstock and attested with the CEF. Two days later he was taken on strength of the 34th Battalion, which had been authorised in November 1914 and would sail for Britain on 23 October 1915 where it supplied reinforcements for the Canadian Corps. It seems likely Alexander proceeded overseas with the battalion, however, further details of his military service are currently unknown.
After the war, Alexander worked for the Woodstock Public Utility Commission with whom he served for 42 years. In 1938 he married a local widow named Marjorie Mabel Cameron (née Kerr) – a marriage that lasted until his death in January 1969 (Marjorie died the following year.)