Every story should be told before they are lost forever

Scott Wishart with children Alexander (8) and six-year-old twins Edith and May
Scott Wishart with children Alexander (8) and six-year-old twins Edith and May

Scott hopes to compile definitive list of Wisharts killed in the Great War

In 2010 an amateur family historian from Kirkcaldy began a project to research and record details of men and women bearing the Wishart surname who served overseas during the First World War.

Now, along with help from people around the world, Scott Wishart hopes to have completed at least 50 per cent of this self-funded project in time for the Great War centenary this year.

He said: “I first became interested in the war when I was 16 and my English teacher took my class to London to see a production of R.C. Sheriff’s ‘Journey’s End’ at the Whitehall Theatre. It was also about this time that my family visited my great grandfather’s war grave in Greece, which really made an impression. The interest came and went over the years, but peaked again about four years ago when I thought about how many Wisharts were actually involved in the war. I then realised that every story should be worth telling before they were lost forever.”

Scott has already identified close to 460 individuals and has compiled details of over half of them and is now eager to hear from anyone who may be able to help in any way.

“Around 25 per cent of Wisharts from all corners of the British Commonwealth and the USA never returned home from the war,” Scott continued. “I am close to being able to publish the details of those who died in battle on the project website, www.wishart1418.org, and I’m interested in anyone named Wishart who served in uniform, whether they were survived the war or were killed.

“The majority of those who feature in the project are either from Fife or have roots here and I am interested in hearing from anyone who thinks they are able to help.”

Scott is especially keen to make contact with any one who is related to an Andrew Wishart who comes from Burntisland.

He said: “Andrew served as a piper with the 1st Battalion Black Watch and gained some fame locally when, aged just 18, he piped his battalion into battle at Richebourg, and continued playing despite being riddled with bullets.

“He eventually fell close to enemy trenches, but managed to drag himself back to British lines.

“On returning home to the UK, Andrew was sent to Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow for treatment. The King who was visiting the hospital at the same time had requested he speak with the ‘young boy piper’, but sadly Andrew missed out on the meeting as he was in the operating theatre at the time.”

The project has been added as part of the Great War Centenary Partnership Network, a series of programmes and events which aim to mark the 100th anniversary of the war.

It has also recently been been added to the British Library Web Archive as part of their World War One Centenary collection.

If you think that you can help, you can email Scott at mail@wishart1418.org or for more information visit http://wishart1418.org/