Born on 20 November 1890 at Cauldhame Feus in Marykirk, Andrew was the fifth of nine children of a local slater named James and his wife, Elizabeth Smith Greig.
By 1901 the family had moved to Woodside Cottage in Luthermuir where Andrew followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a slater. James was also something of a fruit-growing enthusiast and would often give tree-pruning demonstrations in the surrounding villages with Andrew occasionally helping him out and becoming keen horticulturist himself.
At the outbreak of war in 1914 Andrew’s younger brothers William and John rushed to enlist, leaving Andrew and his older brother Alexander at home to help out with their father’s business. At some point during the next three years, it appears that Alexander was also drafted with the war finally catching up with Andrew in February 1917, when he applied for exemption from military service at a tribunal held in Stonehaven. Also pleading his case at the tribunal was Andrew’s cousin Joseph Watson Wishart, who lived in the same village and like Andrew had been working in the family business while his brothers were away at the Front. Both applications were refused, and cousins were called up for service on 31 March and ordered to report to the recruiting office in Luthermuir.
They joined the 1/4th Gordon Highlanders and were posted overseas during the summer of 1917. Unfortunately, Andrew’s service papers have not survived; however, his medal index cards record that whilst overseas he was transferred to the 1/6th Gordon Highlanders, who like the 1/4th, were also part of the 51st (Highland) Division.
Sadly Andrew’s cousin Joseph was killed by a shell at the end of 1917, and Andrew may have been present at a number of battles during 1917/1918. On 5 October 1918, the 1/6th Gordons amalgamated with the 1/7th Battalion to become the 6/7th Gordon Highlanders and were positioned north of Cambrai at Thun l’Eveque when the Armistice came.
After the war, Andrew became a master builder and married Williamina Grant Brand in Laurencekirk on 7 July 1925. No children were born of the marriage, and the couple lived out the rest of their days at Woodside Cottage. Andrew died at a hospital in Brechin on 15 March 1975, Williamina in Stonehaven twelve years later.