1st Jul, 2022

Coventry City Councillor and community champion presented with his MBE

Tristan Harris 22nd Feb, 2022 Updated: 22nd Feb, 2022

A CITY Councillor has received his MBE for services to the community in Coventry.

Coun David Skinner received his award from Princess Anne at Windsor Castle.

Coun Skinner said: “My wife Sheila and I are very grateful for the many kind comments from local residents.

“The Princess was very complimentary about my Service background and we had just left the room when I burst into tears.

“It was truly an unforgettable experience.”

David was born before the Second World War in a village south of London and grew up during the conflict.

He created world medical history at just two days old, becoming the first blue baby to survive a total blood change.

He, like many residents at the time, remembers experiencing the devastating bombing and ‘looking for windows in local fields’ – referring to the strips of metal dropped by German bombers to hinder British radar tracking them.

“After school, we were organised into groups to find them and hand them in to teachers ‘to be used in the war effort’.”

Coun Skinner went on the serve himself at RAF Tangmere – the central planning branch of the Royal Air Force.

After his service he joined the HM Foreign (now Diplomatic) Service and served in the Foreign Office (now FCDO) four times over the years.

He toured many places, including Bahrain, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Hannover and Bonn.

He met his wife Sheila, who was born in Coventry, on one of the tours, and the pair have five children – all married – and five grandchildren.

She had been in Chile and Honduras after reading languages at Leicester University.

Coun Skinner said: “I was critically ill in the British Military Hospital in Hannover and elsewhere, but am still here.”

He has been restricted to crutches for last 26 years.

Away from his career and home life, Coun Skinner has two degrees, including an MA from Warwick University.

He has been a Coventry City Councillor since 2006 and is stepping down on May 5, at the next election.

During his time on the authority, he has served on a number of committees, including the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, Board of Whitefriars Housing (now Citizen) and was the Governor of Hereward College.

He added: “I was greatly impressed by the staff of all three of these organisations. and greatly impressed by the dedication of staff of all three.”

With three Queen’s Commissions also awarded to Coun Skinner, he is no stranger to royal accolades and now has his MBE.

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