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David SKINNER’s Photo Album


(David was recalled to H.Q. on the 20th October 2012. R.I.P.)

AAS Arborfield Intake 52B


Colombo. January 1957


Taken outside the NAAFI building, members of Draft No. DLPDQ. All are of Arborfield Intake 52B.

Standing L to R are Mick Gauntlett, David Pilcher, David Skinner.

Kneeling is Colin Headley.

Of the same Draft and Intake was Charlie Claydon who missed the photo shoot.





In Retirement


Moira and David Skinner, on their 40th Wedding Anniversary, winding up their 1921 Model T Ford.



The following information has been contributed by David Pilcher 52B (See leading photo).


Front cover of ‘The Automobile’ magazine, Volume 29, No10, December 2011.

Acknowledged as the source and Copyright © of ‘The Automobile Magazine’.


David Pilcher (52B) writes……….

I first met up with David in HQ Company when we were filing and chiselling lumps of metal in the basic fitting shop.  His father was then the landlord of the Robert De Mortain Pub in Hastings and I stayed there for a couple of pleasant days.  At the end of HQ Company we were both deemed worthy for training as Instrument Mechanics and were in the same education class.  I recall that he was a member of the band and seemingly ‘Band Training’ enabled him to legitimately (so he said) avoid almost all onerous fatigues and duties.  On Passing Out we went to 34 Base Workshop – from the comfort of centrally heated Spiders to Nissen Huts where we all huddled around coke fires.  Our first job was inspecting the preservation of spares at COD Donnington – I can’t remember which one of us recommended that some stainless steel springs needed rust proofing !   In January 1957 we were posted to the FAREAST and, as President Nasser had blocked the Suez Canal, we embarked on a luxury cruise around South Africa on the troopship Devonshire.   On arrival in Singapore David remained there with 40 Base Workshop (repairing typewriters) and I went up country to 2 Infantry Workshop in Taiping.  I saw him again in Rowcroft Lines when I attended a course and he introduced me to the fleshpots (Change Alley, The Britannia Club and the New World and Great World Amusement Parks). He left the army after his tour in Singapore and I visited him in Eastleigh where he was working for Pirelli in their cable division.  Some years later he moved to Chandlers Ford where he lived with his wife Moira and children and was working as a Design Engineer for Vickers Design & Projects.  His great passion was restoring antique cars and he went on, and on, about his 1921 16-v Bugatti.  Perhaps his greatest achievement, however, was (together with his son Richard) the complete restoration of a 1911 Model T Ford.  The blow by blow account, which involved trips to the USA, was published in ‘The Automobile’ magazine in December 2011. 

I last saw David and Moira a few years ago when they drove up to our village and he could not resist gently reminding me of his intellectual superiority.  He argued that as his regimental number was lower than mine it indicated that he had obtained a higher score than me in the entrance examination to Arborfield.  We had a good laugh about it - but I think he meant it!

I cannot recall exactly how we managed to keep in touch over all those 60 years but the arrival of email was a blessing and we communicated fairly regularly.

David, and latterly his family, were lifelong friends and what I particularly liked about him was that he was always the same: loyal, cheerful, generous and very good company.




First Published: 1st May 2008.

Latest Update: 15th October 2013.