by Remember Oluwale in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom:

We are raising money to fund a blue plaque on Leeds Bridge to commemorate the life and death of David Oluwale.

David Oluwale was a British-Nigerian citizen who arrived in Hull in East Yorkshire as a stowaway in a cargo ship from Lagos. Like all migrants, David travelled in hope of a brighter future. When David initially arrived in Leeds, he worked rebuilding post-war Britain and enjoyed the nightlife of this developing city. However, from 1953 to 1969 he endured mental ill-health, homelessness, racism, destitution and police persecution, culminating in what we believe to be his drowning on 18th April 1969 in the River Aire, near Leeds Bridge, at the hands of two policemen. 

Remember Oluwale works to commemorate David’s life as well as use his story to promote social and racial equality. We acknowledge that the city of Leeds has made great strides since 1969. We aim to help the city in coming to terms with its past, to improve its care for those who remain marginalised, and to promote compassion, cohesion, inclusion and social justice in Leeds. We utilise all types of art to offer vitality and creativity in our collective effort to make a better future for all. We have a particular focus on mental ill-health, homelessness, rough sleeping and police malpractice. 

We believe that the curation of a Civic Trust Blue Plaque in David’s name will be a further step in the right direction for Leeds. The plaque will not only acknowledge the discrimination migrants like David have experienced, but pledge to work towards a more inclusive and equal future. 

You can find out more about our ongoing and future projects on the Remember Oluwale website: