Between 1882 and 1888 William Wishart, a fancy goods manufacturer, and his wife Jane McMillan became parents to five children. The youngest, born in Glasgow on 1 June 1888 was named Alexander McMillan, a middle name he shared with his older sister Jeannie.
Shortly before his fifth birthday Alexander’s mother died of chronic bronchitis, an affliction she had been suffering from for the best part of five months. Like many widowed men in the period, William remarried shortly afterwards, this time to his cousin Isabella from Dunfermline. In 1903, for an unknown reason, Alexander and his three sisters were sent to Canada where they eventually settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
At the time war broke out in 1914 Alexander was working as a telephone lineman, an occupation he held when he visited the Winnipeg recruiting office on 25 February the following year. The next day he was taken on strength of the 28th (Northwest) Infantry Battalion CEF and very likely among the draft who embarked for Britain on 29 May.
Exact details of Alexander’s war service are not currently known; however, the battalion is known to have arrived in France from England on 18 September 1915 and formed part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division. Over the next three years, Alexander may have seen action in a number of battles including the Somme (1916), Arras and Passchendaele (1917), Amiens and the Battles of the Hindenberg Line (1918.)
After the war, Alexander returned to Winnipeg, where on 8 April 1920 he married the daughter of a farmer from Ontario named Myrtle Verna Morden. In 1921 the couple were living in Morden, a small township southwest of Winnipeg named after Myrtle’s grandfather Alvey Morden, with Alexander having returned to his old pre-war occupation, and by 1927 had moved just north of the city to Stonewall.
Alexander died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 8 September 1927; his wife lived for another 56 years.