One of five daughters, Julia was nicknamed Judy by her family. Just
5' 2" with auburn hair, her lively personality and rebellious
behaviour meant she was considered the black sheep of the family
but she was also Pop's favourite! She was musical with a
good voice and a talent for playing the banjo, the piano accordion
and the piano, both of which her grandfather William Stanley had
taught her to play.
She was 14 when she met Alf Lennon
and 10 years later, on 3 December 1938, they were married at Mount
Pleasant Registry Office, Liverpool. Neither had told their families
and after a wedding dinner bought by Alf's brother, Sydney,
followed by an evening at the cinema they both went home to break
Alf was at sea when Julia, after a 30-hour labour, gave birth to
their son John Winston
Lennon on 9 October 1940. Alf effectively abandoned mother and
child when he jumped ship and went AWOL. Neither Julia nor the Navy
knew of Alf's whereabouts and while they looked for him the Navy
stopped her allowance.
Julia moved closer to her sister Mimi
and in an effort to establish a social life started frequenting
cafes and pubs. At this point Julia began a relationship with a
soldier, Taffy Williams, who was stationed at a nearby barracks.
She was six weeks pregnant by Taffy when Alf returned from sea.
Alf was keen to get back together but Julia was having none of it.
Pop Stanley and Mimi insisted that the child be adopted. Julia didn't
have much choice. She had no home and no income plus she was stigmatized
by her circumstances. Helpless, she eventually agreed to this and
so a Norwegian Captain and his family adopted the baby. She was
named Victoria Elizabeth. Julia was devastated by the loss of her
baby, as her daughters discovered years later.
Before long Julia met and fell in love with John
'Bobby' Dykins. She and Bobby began living together in Bobby's
flat. Mimi considered a one bedroom flat unsuitable accommodation
for little John. She bought Social Services to see it and it was
arranged, against Julia's wishes, for John to be cared for by her
Julia and John Dykins had two daughters Julia
and Jackie. When John was in his
early teens he started visiting Julia's house and would always stay
overnight or for the weekend. Julia taught John to play the banjo.
She showed great interest in John's musical talents and his band.
Julia died when she was only 44 when an off duty drunken policeman
hit her as she walked home from Mimi's house. John was distraught
and he and his sisters never got over their loss. He named his first
son Julian after