FP100: No. 37

Sir Sandford Fleming plaque
Sir Sandford Fleming plaque

Sir Sandford Fleming

In the heart of Kirkcaldy lies a memorial to one of its great sons.

Sir Sandford Fleming’s links to the Lang Toun are remembered in a memorial plaque that stands within Kirkcaldy’s War Memorial Gardens.

The inventor of Standard Time was born in the town in January 1827.

He trained in engineering and surveying before emigrating to Canada in 1845 at the age of 17.

He went on to assist in the founding of the Canadian Institute and designed the first Canadian postage stamp.

Fleming was the builder of the Intercolonial Railway and chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1871-1880).

But it is as the Father of Standard Time that he is probably best remembered.

His concept of a worldwide uniform system for reckoning time is the basis on which today’s system of Standard Time was adopted.

Despite living in Canada, Fleming maintained a close connection with his birthplace, visiting the town frequently.

He was made a burgess and freeman of Kirkcaldy in 1882.

Fleming died in 1915.

The memorial plaque in the town’s War Memorial Gardens was unveiled in September 1973.