David Hanson Wishart was born in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire on 23 October 1889. He was the second of four sons of William Wishart, a marine engineer from Montrose, and his wife, Mary Jane Hanson.
Before the war, David worked as an engineer for a motor engineering company, and so it seemed a natural choice for him to volunteer as a driver with the British Red Cross Society. He embarked for France on 8 November 1914 and served with the Scottish Unit in Rouen as a civilian chauffeur until 6 May 1915, when he returned to the UK and worked as an engine fitter.
In 1922 David married Jane Fraser Blair in Perth and eventually ended up living in Arbroath, where he died on 30 January 1941.