Who was John Lennon named after? Why?

Liverpool was heavily bombed in 1940

Contrary to Aunt Mimi’s later recollection, John Lennon was not born during an air-raid. The shadow of the Second World War was, however, very apparent at his birth. 

Liverpool was experiencing intense night bombing around the time of his birth. This began in August 1940 and would continue until January causing 4,000 deaths, the highest number of casualties outside London. Perhaps Mimi was remembering the ever-present expectation of an imminent raid during those months. 

On October 9, 1940, however, Liverpool had a rare night of respite from the Luftwaffe.  Julia Lennon (née Stanley) gave birth to her first child, John Winston Lennon at Liverpool Maternity Hospital.  

Copy of birth certificate

The Lennon surname was the only tangible legacy of his biological father, Alfred/Fred/Freddie Lennon. Though nominally married, Julia and Freddie had never lived together. Freddie returned to sea soon after his son's birth and would only ever make occasional walk-on appearances in his life thereafter.

The name John came from his maternal grandfather. Winston was a patriotic tribute to Winston Churchill, who had become Britain’s  Prime Minister earlier in the year.

Why was John Lennon brought up by his Aunt Mimi? 

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