Between 1858 and 1869 a ship’s carpenter from Arbroath named Steven Wishart and his wife Isabella Jamieson had seven children. The eldest, born on 27 March, was called Alexander and by the age of 13 found himself employed as a worker in one of the local mills. Following an apprenticeship at the Corsar Brothers ‘Applegate Works’, Alexander moved to Govan with his younger brother Robert and found work in the shipyards as an engine fitter.
By the late 1880s, Alexander had returned to Arbroath and married Elizabeth Moonlight Nairn in 1888. He was now working as a marine engineer and consequently would spend long periods away from home at sea. Despite this, five children were born of the marriage between 1892 and 1902, with all of them mercifully still alive at the time of the 1911 census.
During the war, Alexander served as chief engineer of the SS Taplow, a British cargo steamer employed by the Royal Navy as a transport ship. In May 1917 the ship left England for Huelva in Spain, where she loaded with copper bar and sailed for Port Talbot but was last heard of on 5 June when it was assumed she was torpedoed, with the loss of all on board. News of Alexander’s death was officially announced on 10 August and his obituary published in the local papers later that month.
In addition to the Tower Hill Memorial in London, Alexander’s life is also commemorated in his Angus hometown.