George Knox Wishart was born on 21 January 1888 at 1 Saunders Terrace coastal suburb of Dublin. He was the third of seven children of Donald Wishart, a confectioner from Dingwall, and his wife, Olivia Crozier. Shortly after George’s birth, the family moved back to Liverpool, where they had been living earlier in the decade, and by 1891 were resident at 40 Gwydir Street in Toxteth Park. A decade later found the family living in Swansea and at the time of the 1911 census George is recorded as being head of the family and living at 11 Griffiths Terrace in the Sketty district of the city. His mother stated that she was a widow although her husband was still very much alive, suggesting that Donald had deserted his family. George, now aged 22, had found work as a commercial traveller selling cigars, clay pipes etc.
During the Great War, George joined the Merchant Service and served as a fireman on board both the Corsican and Ribbledale and then greaser on the Minnedosa. He was stationed in Whitehaven, which is likely where he met his wife, Lillian Moore, who he married in late 1919. Two children were born of the marriage, and by the late 1930s, the family had moved to Northumberland. It appears that George and Lillian may have separated sometime before 1939 with George possibly remarrying in 1960. He died aged 74 in 1963.