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Poet of Lochgelly

Poet of Lochgelly

Against the wall of the old chancel in the kirkyard facing Auchterderran Kirk stands a most unusual headstone. It marks the grave of the Poet of Lochgelly, John Pindar, whose real name was Peter Leslie.

He was born in 1836 of poor parents and after a scanty education went to work in the pits at the age of nine.There he remained "in dark dreary drudgery" until, in his 23rd year, he enlisted in a regiment of Fusiliers.He wrote his "Autobiography of a Private Soldier" describing his interesting life in the army. Many of his poems were composed during his military service in India.

After many years, Pindar returned to his native Lochgelly to eke out a miserable existence on his pension of one shilling a day. Disabled in an accident, he was unable to do manual work. He was appointed hall—keeper at the Volunteer Hall, Lochgelly, but his income from that was very modest. By arranging to have Pindar's poems published the Rev. A.M.Houston of Auchterderran hoped to make life a little easier for an old soldier.

The Kirk of Auchterderran

The dear auld kirk I lo'e it weel,
Where sainted dust repose;
It stands amang the leafy trees,
Near where the burnie flows.
Wavering memory brings to view
The days when,but a bairn
I toddled wi'my father to
The Kirk o' Auchterderran.
Beneath the shadow o' your dome
My aged parents lie;
May I wi'them find my last home
Whene'er I come to die.

Pindar got his wish to be buried in Auchterderran Kirkyard and because he had no money to leave for a tombstone, the Rev. A.M. Houston had a memorial stone assembled for his burial place from the remains of broken stones lying in the kirkyard.

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