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The McCosh Hall, Kirkmichael

John McCosh was born in 1805 in Kirkmichael parish, where his father was a teacher. He became a doctor, and in 1831 he went out to India. For the next 25 years he worked there as a military surgeon in the army of the British East India Company, often attending to the wounded under fire during battles. As well as his medical duties, he had several hobbies. One was writing poetry, and another was photography, a recent invention at that time. He took some of the earliest photographs which exist of Indian and Burmese peoples and architecture, and of British soldiers on active service.  

John retired in 1856 and returned to Britain. When he died in London in 1885 he left a sum of money to be used for three purposes: to provide bursaries for medical students at Edinburgh University; to provide bursaries for pupils at Ayr Academy; and to build a village hall and working men's club in Kirkmichael. The money went first to his niece, so that the interest from it could support her during her lifetime, and after her death it was put to the purposes John had specified in his will. The village hall in Kirkmichael was opened in 1899 and was named the McCosh Hall.