LEMON, Percy

Lieutenant Percy Lemon
278439 Royal Garrison Artillery

Percy was born in 1892 at Westwood, Notts the son of James Lemon born Derby, an engine tender and Sarah Ann Lemon (nee Norman-Stallard) born Birmingham.  In 1901 the family was living at New Westwood, Westwood.

Percy attended Ironville and Codnor Park School and in 1905 The Nottingham Evening Post published the following account of Percy’s brave rescue of a school friend.

‘Codnor Park. Rescue from drowning.   Several boys were playing on the bank between the canal and reservoir at Codnor Park on Friday, when one of their number, named George Wilmott(sic), of Westwood, accidentally fell into the deep end of the reservoir about 16ft. of water. Being unable to swim, he would certainly have been drowned but for the plucky action of one of his companions, named Percy Lemon, of Westwood, who jumped into the water and brought him to land. Both lads are scholars at the Codnor Park and Ironville Church of England Schools, Lemon being a member of the School Swimming Class, taught by the headmaster, Mr. W. Carter Pegg. Since the formation of the class, some 18 months ago, upwards of 1,000 scholars have been taught to swim, and a number have since been instrumental in saving life. The boy Lemon has won a number of prizes in the school annual swimming sports, and is now to be recommended for the Royal Humane Society’s silver medal. This is the second case of rescue from drowning by boys of the school swimming class during the past three weeks.’


Photo: Lemon Family Group. James and Sarah Ann Lemon seated front.

By 1911 the Lemon family had moved to 1, Marple Street, Nottingham. The census records that 12 children had been born to James and Sarah of whom 10 had survived being Alice, Charles, William H, Arthur E, Edward, Leslie, Sarah Ann, Sarah, Percy and Thirza. Percy’s occupation at the time was clerk.

Little military information has been forthcoming for Percy. Percy’s brother Leslie also served in WW1 and was killed in action in April 1917, aged 22 years. The newspaper account regarding Leslie’s death mentions that he had a brother serving in France and that Leslie was one of two brothers, (presumably Leslie and Percy) who had joined the colours.

On 21st August 1920 Percy, aged 28, then a resident of New Westwood,  married Phyllis Lillian Hill, aged 25 at Westwood, St. Mary’s.  Phyllis was the daughter of Philip Hill and three of her brothers, Joseph, Rowland and Frank had served and survived WW1. At time of marriage Percy’s occupation is given as a chemist. They had children Percival Melville, James A, Philip Gordon and Leslie Trevor, born in Derby & Burton in the 1920’s.

Percy died in 1970 at Lancing, Worthing Sussex and his wife Phyllis died in 1980 in Blackburn, Lancs. Percy’s parents and his brother Charles Alfred are buried at Westwood, St Mary’s.