The end of empire, a romantic story and the social life and culture of an elite British colony -- these are the fascinating themes to emerge from this unique collection of letters and diary entries. It is an inside story of Northern Nigeria's independence and of a clash of cultures.
Tim Johnston's background was rich in imperial tradition and, after Oxford, he joined the British Colonial Service in Northern Nigeria. Berrice was from a very different background -- a broken home and work in a dress-shop at the age of 14. War service provided a powerful and romantic link: Tim became a war hero and decorated fighter pilot, Berrice served in the ATS and they married in 1942. Tim Johnston returned to Northern Nigeria after the war, served his apprenticeship as a District Officer and rose to be Deputy Governor -- a vital role on the path to independence -- with Berrice expected to assume the role of 'senior wife' in the social life of the colony.
Carolyn Johnston has woven together a delightful and revealing series of letters and diary entries from her parents which show the social tensions of colonial life and illuminate Northern Nigeria on the brink of independence.