Fred, John Lennon's father, met Julia Stanley before he went out to sea.
He met her in Sefton Park with a friend. After they met, they decided to
go out together. On December 3, 1938, they decided to get married. After
their honeymoon, Fred, who was a headwaiter on a ship,went off to the West
Indies for three months.
When Fred came back, they managed to get a rented place of their own.
Then Fred was off again, leaving Julia, who found out she was pregnant. It
was the summer of 1940, when Liverpool was under heavy bombing. No one knew
where Fred was when Julia went to the Maternity Hospital in Oxford Street
to have her baby. On October 9, 1940, at seven in the morning, John Winston
Lennon was born.
Fred and Julia separated when John was eighteen months old. They were
having financial problems. Julia had met another man who she wanted to marry
and thought it would be difficult to bring John along. Since Fred was always
going away, she sent him to live with her sister, Mimi. Both of them wanted
Mimi to adopt John, but she wouldn't do it.
John remembered very little about living with the Stanley's, being looked
after by his mother while his father was at sea, but he did get the impression
that they did have some happy times together.
Fred went back to sea again after Julia had gone to live permantely with
the new man, and John had gone to live with Mimi. One day, Fred went to visit
John at Mimi's house. He decided to take his son to a place called Blackpool,
intending never to return.
Fred and five-year-old John spent some weeks in Blackpool, staying with
a friend of Fred's. This friend was planning on moving to New Zealand, and
Fred decided to go with him. All the preparations had been made, when Julia
showed up at the door, wanting her son back. Fred had gotten so used to John,
he wanted to take him to New Zealand, so he suggested the three of them go
together and make a new start. But Julia didn't want Fred just John. After
arguing, they left the decision up to John. When they asked their son who
he wanted to live with he said his father. But when Julia left, John ran
after her - and that was the last time Fred saw or heard of his son until
John became a Beatle.
John went back to Liverpool with Julia, but not to stay with her. Mimi,
his aunt, wanted him back. He moved in with them, Mimi and her husband George,
for good this time. "I never told John about his mother and father," said
Mimi. "I just wanted to protect him from all that. I just wanted him to be
John soon settled down with Mimi. She brought him up as her own. Mimi
was a disciplinarian, but she never hit him or yelled at him. Her worst
punishment was to ignore him.
John's first school was Dovedale Primary. John was reading and writing
after only five months at school, even though his spelling was funny. Mimi
wanted to take John to and from school herself, but John didn't want her
to. After his third day, he said she was making a show of him and he didn't
want her to come anymore. So Mimi used to follow him secretly to school every
day, just to make sure he was okay.
John had a good voice. He used to sing in the chior at St. Peter's Woolton.
He always went to Sunday school and was later confirmed at the age of fifteen.
Mimi tried to teach John the value of money. To get any extra money, he
had to work in the garden. But money didn't really mean anything to John.
John started writing his own little books at the age of seven. His first
series contained jokes, cartoons, drawings, photographs of celebrities and
sports players. John wrote serious poems, in his secret handwriting, so Mimi
couldn't read them. His favorite books were "Alice In Wonderland" and "Wind
In the Willows."
As a small child, John had golden hair and looked just like his mother's
side of the family. People thought John was Mimi's real son, which she liked.
Mimi was very protective of him, not letting him get involved with what she
called common boys.
When John played with the other children on the street, he always had
to be the boss. But at school, he had his own gang, which led to physical
fights with everyone. His two closest friends were Ivan Vaughan and Pete
Shotton. John's gang also shoplifted, but he was always the one who didn't
get caught. Other boys' parents disliked John, and warned their children
to stay away from him.
Mimi didn't tell John about himself, and since he had very few memories
of his past, a lot of unanswered questions worried him. Especially on Julia's
visits. John asked Mimi questions a couple of times, but she didn't want
to give him any details. She told John his parents didn't love each other
anymore, and that his father never sent them any money.
John began to forget his father. To John, it seemed like his father was dead. His mother, came to visit, but not very often. Julia lived no more than five to ten miles away, but Mimi never told John. He might have thought he was hiding all his feelings and worries, but according to Mimi, John was a completely open and happy child.