Lt. Edward George Wishart (1897 – 1918)
Edward George Wishart was the second youngest of seven children of Frederick William Firman Wishart, a farmer and flesher from Aberdeen, and his wife, Katherine Moir Smith. He was born on 26 January 1897 at Hill of Fiddes in the parish of Foveran, Aberdeenshire. By then his father was operating a successful livestock business and running a busy butcher’s shop in Aberdeen.
After attending Aberdeen Grammar School, Edward made plans to go into farming, with his father arranging on his behalf a lease of the farm of Westerfolds in Duffus, Morayshire. The declaration of war with Germany in August 1914 put Edward’s plans on hold and, keen to ‘do his bit’, he enlisted in Aberdeen on 7 November 1914. Joining the 2/4th Gordon Highlanders, which was second line battalion, Edward was immediately embodied for service and went through training in Perthshire before being transferred to the 3/14th London Regiment (London Scottish) on 12 April 1915. Two months later, and after making a successful application for a commission in the British Army, Edward was gazetted Second Lieutenant with the 1/5th (Buchan and Formartin), Gordon Highlanders on 19 June.
Edward eventually left for the Western Front on 9 June 1916 and joined his new unit eleven days later while they were billeted near Arras at Maroeuil. In mid-July, the battalion (which formed part of the 153rd Brigade in the 51st (Highland) Division), moved to the Somme and had arrived at Dernancourt on the 20th. The following day, Edward returned to England on board the hospital ship St Patrick suffering from tonsilitis – embarking in Rouen for Southampton on the 26th. Upon arrival, Edward made his way to Yorkhill War Hospital in Glasgow for treatment and was subsequently discharged back to duty in September.
During 1917 Edward was stationed at Witton Camp in North Walsham, Norfolk and was given a month’s leave starting 13 September so that he could return home and assist in the harvesting operations. He eventually returned to France as a lieutenant at the start of April 1918 and rejoined his unit on the Somme at St. Maulvis between the 4th and 10th. On the 18th, while manning the line just east of the village of St. Floris, Edward was shot in the lung and evacuated to the 39th Stationary Hospital, where he died three days later.
Edward was buried in the Aire Communal Cemetery, his parents requesting that the phrase ‘Dulce et decorum est. Pro patria mori’ (it is sweet and right to die for your country) be inscribed on his headstone.
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