MOST people know the nursery rhyme Wee Willie Winkie – but how many realise it was written by a cabinet maker from Glasgow’s east end?

William Miller, who is buried with a fitting memorial stone (pictured here with writer and broadcaster Jack House in 1975) grew up in Dennistoun.

His poem first appeared in 1842 in a collection called Whistle-binkie: Stories for the Fireside.

It made him famous, briefly – he even became known as the Laureate of the Nursery, although he could never have imagined his work would still be recited and loved by children all over the world more than 150 years later.

Miller’s story is a sad one – ill-health prevented him from fulfilling his ambition to be a surgeon, and his writing career never took off.

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He did have one more shot at it, though, publishing a volume of his work in 1863, entitled Scottish Nursery Songs and other poems.

In 1871, he had to retire from work due to an ulcerated leg, which became infected, leading to his death from spinal paralysis at the age of 62.

When he died, he and his wife and two sons were living in poverty. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Tollcross Cemetery. A few years later the Necropolis memorial was erected by public subscription.