Lennon was born in war-time England, on 9 October 1940 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital to Julia and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman of Irish descent, who was away at the time of his son's birth.His parents named him John Winston Lennon after his paternal grandfather, John "Jack" Lennon, and then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill.His father was often away from home but sent regular pay cheques to 9 Newcastle Road, Liverpool, where Lennon lived with his mother,but the cheques stopped when he went absent without leave in February 1944. When he eventually came home six months later, he offered to look after the family, but Julia—by then pregnant with another man's child—rejected the idea.After her sister, Mimi Smith, twice complained to Liverpool's Social Services, Julia handed the care of Lennon over to her. In July 1946 Lennon's father visited Smith and took his son to Blackpool, secretly intending to emigrate to New Zealand with him. Julia followed them—with her partner at the time, 'Bobby' Dykins—and after a heated argument his father forced the five-year-old to choose between them. Lennon twice chose his father, but as his mother walked away, he began to cry and followed her.It would be 20 years before he had contact with his father again.
251 Menlove Avenue, the home of George and Mimi Smith, where Lennon lived for most of his childhood and adolescence
Throughout the rest of his childhood and adolescence he lived with his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith, who had no children of their own, at Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, Woolton. His aunt purchased volumes of short stories for him, and his uncle, a dairyman at his family's farm, bought him a mouth organ and engaged him in solving crossword puzzles. Julia visited Mendips on a regular basis, and when John was 11 years old he often visited her at 1 Blomfield Road, Liverpool, where she played him Elvis Presley records, taught him the banjo, and showed him how to play "Ain't That a Shame" by Fats Domino. In