Alexander Wishart was born on 28 June 1888 in Poplar, East London. His father, James Martin Wishart, was a seaman by profession, and consequently, the family moved about quite a bit when Alexander was a boy, but by 1901 had settled at Barlow Cottage in Bridge of Don, which is now a suburb of Aberdeen.
On 16 December 1905 Alexander’s father died at the Municipal Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He had been at sea on board the SS Longhirst when he suffered a fractured skull during mid-November, although the exact circumstances in which he sustained the injury are unrecorded.
Alexander enlisted in Dover the day after war with Germany was declared and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. At the time he had been working as an electrician and was posted to the 109 Siege Battery, a territorial unit tasked with defences along the Kent coastline. Unfortunately, Alexander’s service papers have not survived; however, it seems likely he proceeded to France with the battery in June 1916, and was involved in the Battle of the Somme.
Sergeant Wishart survived the war and re-enlisted for a further four years with the artillery on 15 July 1919. A week before, in Dover, he married Catherine Lillian Thompson from Hastings, and the couple subsequently had two daughters born in 1920 and 1922 respectively. Alexander was discharged from service on 14 October 1923 and while living at Marine House on Dover’s Liverpool Street, began making plans to emigrate with his wife and children to Australia.
Leaving London on 24 April 1924 the family sailed on board the SS Demosthenes for Australia, where they settled in Bassendean – a northeastern suburb of Perth. Alexander became a shopkeeper, and during World War Two, he served with the Australian equivalent of the Home Guard. By the late 1950s, he was working as a superintendent and died in Perth at the end of 1968.