8/4057 Pte. Andrew Anderson Wishart (1895 – 1917)

Tree: WIS0002

Andrew Anderson Wishart was born in Mokoreta near the small rural town of Wyndham, New Zealand on 9 July 1895. He was the son of George and Agnes Wishart and had three older sisters and four younger brothers. His father was an engine driver from Kennoway and left Scotland sometime before 1880 and settled in New Zealand’s Southland region, where he took up farming.

By 1915, Andrew was working as a sawmiller at North Arm, Stewart Island for McCallum & Co. who were timber and iron merchants. He enlisted in Invercargill on 12 November and was posted a week later to Trentham Camp for training, where he joined ‘D’ Coy of the 10th Reinforcements. On 17 February 1916, Andrew was transferred to ‘D’ Coy of the 11th Reinforcements and embarked from Wellington for Europe on 1 April.

After a month at sea, the transport ship Andrew was sailing on arrived in Suez where he transferred onto another vessel and continued to Marseilles (via Alexandria.) At the end of May, he reached the New Zealand Infantry Base Depot in Étaples and was attached to the 1st Battalion Otago Regiment, who he eventually joined in the Armentières sector on 28 July. The battalion formed part of the New Zealand Division moved in early September to the Somme region where they first went into action on the 16th at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.

On 27 September the Battalion was tasked with taking the Gird trench system which was a double line of trenches protecting the village of Guedecourt. In addition to thick barbed wire, the trenches were heavily defended by enemy machine guns. During the assault, the Battalion was literally ‘cut to pieces’, and reduced to a strength of 113 men by the end of the following day. Andrew did not escape the fury of the machine guns and was wounded in his right thigh. The following day he had made it off the battlefield and was taken to 36 Casualty Clearing Station, before being transported to the 8th General Hospital in Rouen. On 2 October Andrew left France for England where he was admitted to the No.1 New Zealand General Hospital in Brockenhurst, where he remained until 6 December, when he was transferred to the New Zealand Base Depot in Codford.

At the end of January 1917, Andrew returned to hospital (in Codford) suffering from slight bronchitis; however, his health was about to take a dramatic turn for the worse. After spending several months in his sick bed, Andrew was eventually diagnosed with atrophy of the liver. By June he was dangerously ill and died in hospital on 10 July.

Andrew was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Codford and he was the brother of 15273 Pte. James Wishart, who was killed at the Somme on 15 November 1916.

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