George Wishart was born on 3 February 1873 at Howaback in the parish of Sandwick, Orkney. He was the second of seven children of Peter Wishart, a local farmer, and his wife Ellen Wylie Linklater. When he was old enough George went to sea with the Merchant Navy and at the time war with Germany broke out in the summer of 1914 he was serving as 1st Engineer on the SS Manchester City – a general cargo steamship built in 1898 and owned by Manchester Liners Ltd.
On 5 August 1915, George married a teacher from Orphir named Elizabeth Ann Sinclair and in 1919 he joined the crew of the SS Manchester Brigade – a steam merchant ship built in West Hartlepool the previous year. After the war, he was awarded the Mercantile Marine and British War Medals and continued to work as a marine engineer until retirement. He died at home at Burnside in the parish of Kirbister from a perforated ulcer on 15 February 1937. His younger brother Thomas served with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and died in Ontario during 1921.