France & Flanders

9 April 1918

At dawn, positioned along a railway line on the outskirts of the village of Buire, 1060 Pte. Henry Sproule Wishart of ‘C’ Company, 38th Australian Infantry Battalion stands to with his unit, expecting the worse. A thick mist covers the landscape; however, poor visibility does not deter the Germans, who at about 8:30 am commence a sustained period of continuous harassing fire that will last all day. In the first hour alone around 1000 enemy shells rain down on the areas occupied by Henry’s battalion, with the shelling recorded as being considerably more violent near the ‘clock’ hours. At some stage a shrapnel shell bursts nearby and tears through Henry’s right hip and into his abdomen. He is immediately taken to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital at Doullens but pronounced dead on arrival.

Henry had been at the front since November 1916 and was wounded twice in 1917. Two weeks before Henry died he took part in the heavy fighting at Marett Wood when the 38th Infantry successfully held off a massed attack by the Germans and had only been back in the line a few days when he was killed.

Henry was buried in Doullens Communal Cemetery (grave VI. C. 24.) and also commemorated on Panel 130 of the Australian War Memorial. On 15 September 1918 a ‘United in Memoriam Service’ was held for Henry and another local soldier at the Tragowel & Macorna Presbyterian Church. He is part of tree WIS0023.