S22688 Pte. Thomas Wishart (1893 – 1950)
On 21 March 1893 in a tenement building at 10 Gordon Street in Leith, Thomas Wishart became the fourth of six children of Thomas Wishart, a mason from Fife, and his wife, Elizabeth Blyth Dallas. By 1901 the family had moved to 29 Halmyre Street and then 52 Easter Road ten years later. Thomas Jnr. had left school and had found work as a tile layer. In 1915 he married Margaret Weatherspoon McLaren at his parents Easter Road house on 25 February.
Later that year, on 12 December, while living with his new wife at 117 Lochend Road, Thomas visited the recruiting office in Leith and enlisted with the Cameron Highlanders. His services were not immediately required, and he was put in the army reserve until 13 May 1916 when he was mobilised for service with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, who were based in Inverness. He arrived three days later and began training, however; on 29 September he received orders to proceed overseas where he was to join the 2nd Battalion in Salonika.
The battalion formed part of the 81st Brigade, 27th Division and had been stationed in Greece since December 1915. During 1917 Thomas would have been involved with the capture of Homondos in October and at the Second Battle of Doiran on 18/19 September 1918. In this period Thomas was temporarily attached to the 7th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment and like many in the Salonika campaign was struck down with malaria on more than one occasion. Despite the heat and harsh conditions, the men were required to maintain a respectable standard of appearance with Thomas being punished for not shaving on several occasions – including while at sea during the voyage across the Black Sea in late-1918.
After the Armistice with Bulgaria was declared on 30 September, the 27th Division continued their advance but were ordered to halt on 2 November having passed Krupnik six days earlier. In December the Camerons were posted to the Black Sea for further operations and arrived in Constantinople on the 19th and Tiflis (then part of Russia, now Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia) in January 1919.
In early July Thomas returned to the United Kingdom and was discharged from service on 4 August. He rejoined to his family, who were living at 95 Iona Street in Leith, and met his daughter Elizabeth, who had been born days after he left for the front, for the first time. During the next eight years, Thomas and Margaret became parents to three sons and following his father’s death in 1922, Thomas moved into his Easter Road home. In 1925, after being run by his widowed mother for three years, Thomas then took over his father’s business; becoming ‘Thomas Wishart Jnr. Mason, Pavior, Tile Layer and Grate Builder.’
When old enough his sons joined him in the family business, operating under the name ‘Thomas Wishart & Sons Tile Layers & Grate Builders,’ with registered business premises at 19 Manderston Street, Leith and 95 Main Street, Newhaven.
Thomas died of cancer at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 19 June 1950. At the time he had been living in the same house he married in 35 years earlier.
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