Capt. David George Wishart (1893 – 1992)

Tree: WIS0086

On 15 June 1893 at 31 Fullerton Street in Kilmarnock, local post office clerk and telegraphist David Wishart and his wife Janet Sampson Wilson become parents to their first child, a son, and name him David George. By the turn of the 20th century, the family had moved to Braeside Street and in 1911 were resident in Cambusnethan – a suburb on the eastern edge of Wishaw, North Lanarkshire. David senior was working as an overseer at the post office which appears to have been a temporary position as the family soon returned to Ayrshire where David junior attended Kilmarnock Academy. Between 1911 and 1913 he became a member of the academy officer training corps and gained the rank of cadet sergeant.

In 1915 David began studying science at the The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at Edinburgh University and graduated on 22 December 1917 with an MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) meaning that he had passed an approved veterinary degree. Shortly afterwards, in January 1918, he applied for a temporary commission in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and was subsequently gazetted lieutenant on 11 February. Due to a history of lung trouble picked up at a Medical Board the previous year, David was cleared (Grade 2) for home service. The Army was not keen to increase the number of British based veterinary surgeons and consequently sent David for a further medical, in which he was passed fit for overseas duty.

A month later, on 22 March, David sailed from Southampton for Bombay, where he arrived on 27 April and joined the Ambala Brigade. On 8 February 1919 he rose to the rank of captain and during the year was stationed at Kohat on the North West Frontier, Lucknow and then Deolali – the latter of which was a transit camp for British troops notorious for its unpleasant environment, boredom and the psychological problems of soldiers that passed through it. Its name is the origin of the phrase “gone doolally” or “doolally tap.” Mercifully David’s stay at Deolali was only six days, and he returned to the UK from Bombay on 22 September.

David was demobilised from service on 24 October 1919 and returned to Scotland where he continued his work as a veterinary surgeon. At some point, during the next three years, David began a relationship with a Jean Ross, and a son was born in Newcastle in 1922. He would go on to be married twice in his life; however, no further children were born of these two unions.

David died in Kilmarnock aged 99 on 20 June 1992. He was preceded in death by his son but left behind six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

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