Henry Stewart Wishart was born on 7 July 1872 in the Milton District of Glasgow. He was the eldest of eight children of Henry Stewart Wishart, a gunpowder agent from Cumbrae, and his wife Maggie (née Jeffs.) By 1881 the family were living at 22 West Regent Street in the Barony District and 6 Ardgowan Terrace in Sandyford ten years later. After leaving school young Harry (as he was often known) began an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer, a career that presumably took him to England where he married a native of Orpington named Alice Ada Jeal in Crayford during 1901. Henry had qualified as a fitter and the newlyweds took up residence in the village (as it was) at 2 South Road. Two daughters were born in 1902 and 1906 after which, Alice along with them and two children by a previous marriage, moved to Leeds. The purpose for the relocation is unknown and curiously Henry does not appear in the 1911 census returns.
Henry likely enlisted into the Army around 15 September 1914 and joined the Royal Engineers. He served in France from 21 August 1915 but was discharged from service the following year. This may have been connected to his subsequent re-deployment to the Royal Navy on 8 July 1916 when he was assigned to the Naval base at Chatham. Henry served as an engine room artificer 2nd class onboard HMS Greenwich which was a destroyer depot ship based at Scapa Flow. He was demobilised from service on 29 January 1919 and joined the Merchant Service with who he served as an engineer on various cross-Atlantic vessels. Alice died in 1922 and Henry eventually returned to Leeds, where he died in 1947.