Robert James Wishart was born on 23 March 1880 in Windsor, Berkshire. He was the eldest son of James Wishart, a private in the Scots Guards from Kirkcaldy, and his wife, Mary Ann Cockrell. Although Robert was born in Windsor (where his father’s unit was based), his birth was eventually registered back in London, where his parents usually lived near the Chelsea Barracks at 1 Flask Lane. Less than two months later on 9 May Robert was baptised in St Peter’s parish church, Eaton Square, Belgravia.
During 1881 Robert’s father was deployed with the battalion to Dublin, Ireland, and it appears that Mary Ann and her two children probably went with him. The family returned in 1882 and James left the military on 30 August, having completed the required first period of service. Shortly afterwards they moved to Dedham in Essex where James found work as an agricultural labourer. In 1891 the Wisharts were living on West Street with Robert residing several doors away in the house of his maternal grandparents.
By 1901 Robert had enlisted in Ipswich with the 33rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery and was garrisoned at the Deep Cut Barracks in Frimley Green. It seems likely he saw service in Ireland during the next decade and was still serving with the armed forces in 1914 when war broke out.
On 2 January 1915, Robert married Alice Chiverton in Headley, Southampton. At the time he was based in Leamington Spa with the 26th Brigade RFA and had risen to the rank of bombardier. Three months later he sailed for the Mediterranean, arriving in Egypt on 1 April. Unfortunately Robert’s service papers have not survived, and very little is known of his military career over the next three years, however, by the autumn of 1918, he was serving in France as a sergeant with C Battery of the 78th Brigade, which formed part of the 17th (Northern) Division.
On 26 October Robert was killed just west of Poix du Nord, and one of seven men of the brigade who lost their lives that month. Robert also has the unhappy distinction of being the last Wishart to be killed in action before the Armistice.
He is buried in Poix du Nord Communal Cemetery (Grave 3.)