On 19 April 1905 Charles Dorward Wishart, a message boy from Arbroath, joined the Royal Navy as an ordinary seaman for a period of continuous service of twelve years. Born on 19 April 1887, the son of a master mariner named John Tarbat Wishart, Charles was recorded at the time as being 18 years of age, 5ft 1 1/2″ tall with dark brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. He had a large scar on the side of his head and crossed hands, flags and frog tattoos on his right forearm and a snake on his left forearm.
When he was 15 years old, Charles signed up for boy service on 21 November 1902 and served on board the training ship HMS Caledonia before being transferred in 1904 to the boys training ship HMS Boscawen, which was based in Portland. On the day he signed up for continuous service he was serving as Boy 1st class on HMS Illustrious, a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship that was part of the Channel Fleet. Almost four months after graduating to ordinary seaman Charles was transferred to HMS New Zealand which had been commissioned for service in the Atlantic Fleet at Devonport on 11 July 1905.
In June 1907, while based in Chatham, Charles rose to the rating of able seaman and was assigned to HMS Endymion which was a first-class protected cruiser of the Edgar class and being used as a gunnery training ship at Sheerness in the period Charles was serving on her. Between 1909 and 1912 Charles served on several more ships including HMS Royal Arthur, HMS Barham and HMS Jupiter. During the first half of the First World War, he was on HMS Antrim, a Devonshire-class armoured cruiser which was assigned to the Grand Fleet in 1914 and worked patrols near the Shetland and Faeroe Islands as well as along the Norwegian coast. In 1915 he was transferred to HMS Titania which was a submarine depot ship based at Blyth and returned to Chatham in February 1916 and invalided out of the Navy a month later suffering from defective vision. Overall his conduct throughout his naval career was recorded as first class, though he was confined to the cells on six occasions between 1905 and 1910 for unknown misdemeanours.
Despite his departure from the Royal Navy, Charles returned to the sea with the Merchant Service and eventually rose to 2nd Officer of a ship. On 16 June 1918, Charles married Elizabeth Shepherd Lyon in Brechin and had five sons with her. At the time of the wedding, Charles had been working as a ship rigger in Glasgow but remained in Brechin afterwards where by the 1930s he was employed as a general labourer.
Charles died at Strathcaro Hospital, Angus on 27 January 1959 and is buried in Brechin Cemetery.