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Science & Invention

Alexander Fleming

The original Kilmarnock Academy


After two years of schooling in Darvel, Alexander Fleming moved on to Kilmarnock Academy with a two-year scholarship for fees. Kilmarnock Academy was around 6 miles away from his home at Lochfield Farm, and so during the week Alec lived with his aunt in Kilmarnock, returning home on weekends and holidays.


In 1895, Fleming was invited down to London by his brother Thomas, an established Harley St optician. His brother John was an apprentice under Tom, and their younger brother Robert followed 6 months after Alec. In London, Alec and Robert took classes at Regent St Polytechnic, with Thomas hoping for his younger brothers to become businessmen rather than enter into professional careers.


Kilmarnock Academy is one of only two schools in the UK, and the only school in Scotland, to have educated two Nobel Prize laureates - one being Sir Alexander Fleming, and the other Sir John Boyd Orr.

The Dick Institute
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council
Brown, Kevin (2004) Penicillin Man: Alexander Fleming and the Antibiotic Revolution. Stroud: Sutton.