Monday, September 19, 2022


When World War II broke out David Oguntoye hid in a ship   and travelled  to Britain  to volunteer  for the Royal Air Force.

He  arrived  in Britain in June 1942,and was selected to train as a navigator in Canada for  four years.  Unfortunately  the time he was returning  to Britain  in 1946, the war had already  ended, which meant couldn't be   deployed  on the battlefield. 

Instead   he was posted to Bicester Oxford   as a welfare officer for the Caribbean airmen stationed there.  In June of the same year  a young beautiful white  lady called  Dulcie King , also serving in the Royal Air Force ,  was   posted  to the same station to serve  as an education  instructor.

The two fell in love  and began courting  something  that shocked  the military. Interracial  marriages  were really resented in Britain, and to make it worse this was happening  in the military. Her commanding officer summoned  her and warned  her about going out with a Black person.

Most  of the  officers  disliked the fact that Dulcie had chosen a black boyfriend. Furthemore  it was Ministry  of Defence's   policy  that   interracial  relationships should  nor be allowed  to thrive in the military.  They even transferred her to another station  in an  attempt  to break the relationship, but the love was too strong.

On one occasion a group of airmen tried to attack David, but Dulcie intervened to protect him. The couple who were now  both  holding  the rank  of Flight  Sergeant,  continued to be seen together, and in October 1946 they attended a dance at Royal Air Force  Bicester.

To rub salt in the wound ,  for the first time they decided to hold each other  in public as other airmen  watched. “He sat on the arm of my chair with his arm ostentatiously around me. This, of course, was something we never normally did in public, but we intended to demonstrate unmistakably our relationship,” Dulcie recalled.

One month later the two decided to leave the Royal Air Force  and   got married  immediately  on 16 November  1946 despite the opposition from her parents. They both trained as lawyers  in London   before leaving  for Nigeria  in 1954 where they settled  permanently.   Because  he was considered a chief by  his tribe  Flight  Sergeant  David  went on to marry five other  wives , however,  this did not in anyway  affect their relationship.  She was contented  with being the first wife.

They went on to start  a law firm together  and in  1960,  she denounced  her British  citizenship.  In 1964, David  Oguntoye  was selected as a Court President while Dulcie  Oguntoye  became first a Magistrate and, in 1976, a High Court Judge. She was   the first woman on the Lagos State bench and the second female judge in Nigeria after Modupe Omo-Eboh.

When  David died in June 1997, she  took charge  as a  ‘benevolent matriarch’ to her late husband’s family until  her  death in  2018.

Credit: Nigeria Youth Movement

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