Eloisa Basulti Wishart was the sixth of nine children of John Wishart, a mechanical engineer, and his wife Margaret Able Lundie. She was born on 24 November 1882 at Ellenabeich in the parish of Kilbrandon, Argyllshire and by 1901 was living with her family at 323 Allison Street in the Gorbals district of Glasgow. She attended Garnethill High School and in her spare time, worked as a dressmaker up until 28 December 1907 when she began training as a nurse at the Glasgow Western Infirmary.
On 14 January 1912, Eloisa gained the required certificates to practice nursing and immediately left for South Africa where she took up the position of staff nurse at the Johannesburg General Hospital. In May 1915 Eloisa returned to the UK and took up residence at 14 Battlefield Gardens in Glasgow. At the start of August she was posted to the Frensham Military Hospital in Surrey and on 8 September, transferred to the Dartford War Hospital, where she joined Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service.
During 1916 Eloisa served on board the hospital ship Llandovery Castle which had been assigned to the Canadian Forces and transferred to the British Salonika Force on 5 May 1917. Over the next year, she served at several different general hospitals in the region and eventually left for the UK from Itea on 23 May 1918. On arrival, she took up a position at the Central Military Hospital in Aylesbury and by the end of the year was attached to Halton Camp in Buckinghamshire, where she was in charge of the Isolation Hospital.
In January 1919 a report by a matron at the camp stated that:
Sister Wishart’s general professional ability is above standard of rank, has good administrative ability and proven of initiative. She is good tempered, energetic, reliable, punctual and her influence is always good. This lady is at present in charge of the Isolation Hospital Halton Camp which she has managed with great success. I consider her in every way fit for promotion to a higher rank.
The matron’s superiors all concurred with her assessment, however, before any promotion could be applied, Eloise was discharged from duty in March having been deemed surplus to requirement. Two months later, on 9 May, she embarked on the SS Saxon for Africa and made her way to Nairobi, where she worked at the European Hospital.
Regrettably, no further information is available about Eloisa’s life other than that she appears to have spent the rest of her days working as a nurse in South Africa, and briefly returned to the UK in the early 1930s.