David Shankland, M.B.E

by David Shankland, M.B.E., Scotland, UK

Note from Anne Shankland:
When I heard that David Shankland had had a hospital wing named after him, I was most impressed and felt that we should feature him as a "notable Shankland" on this website. When I heard further that he had been awarded the MBE, I was even more keen to celebrate his achievements here. He has been very kind in providing his own account of his life, which is given below. Thanks, David!


David Shankland was born on 5th November 1924 at the Newlands, Eaglesfield, to James Riddick Shankland and Effie Johnstone Vallance. Currently he lives in Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire.

David was educated at Breconbeds Primary School near Annan, followed by Lockerbie Academy. From 1940-42, he worked in a local newspaper printing department. He then joined the Royal Navy as a signalman and served mainly in the Far East from 1942-1946. On 5th April 1944, his ship, the El Hind was blown up in Bombay Harbour, and David was one of only six survivors. He was demobbed from the Navy on 30th May 1946.

David Shankland

From 1946-1952, David worked with TB patients at Lochmaben Hospital. From 1953-56, he was the first man to train as a State Registered Nurse (SRN) at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. On completion of his training, he was awarded the silver medal on 13th December 1956. In 1961 he was seconded to Edinburgh University to take a diploma course in nursing education which he completed successfully. From 1963 he was a tutor at Dumfries Infirmary until his retiral on 31st May 1989. In 1984 he went to Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for services to nursing.

David Shankland at a Burns Supper

Since his retiral, David has taken up a second career as an after-dinner speaker and radio broadcaster, and in the winter is a regular speaker at social occasions especially Burns Suppers (see photograph at left), on radio and T.V. In summer, he still enjoys fly-fishing and has fished most lochs in Scotland including in Orkney and has also fished in Ireland.

David Shankland, September 2006


Lochmaben Hospital
Lochmaben Hospital

Lochmaben Hospital is a 16-bedded facility consisting of two eight-bedded-units. The Clayson Wing provides short term care for people suffering from a variety of physical problems and requiring rehabilitation, palliative care, etc. The Shankland Wing provides ongoing care for people suffering from dementia or other mental health problems.


David Shankland has even had a bagpipe air written in his honour by the Dumfriesshire piper Gavin Maxwell:

Sheet music for David Shankland's air