On 15 July 1958, when John was 17, Julia died on Menlove Avenue shortly after leaving Mimi’s house, while crossing the road to get to a bus stop. She was struck by a Standard Vanguard car driven by an off-duty policeman, 24-year-old Eric Clague.
Contrary to some reports, Clague was not drunk at the time, and he was driving under the 30mph speed limit. He was, however, a learner driver who was unaccompanied:
“Mrs Lennon just ran straight out in front of me. I just couldn’t avoid her. I was not speeding, I swear it. It was just one of those terrible things that happen.”- Eric Clague, 1998
John’s childhood friend Nigel Walley later recounted what happened:
“I went to call for John that evening but his Aunt Mimi told me he was out. Mimi was at the gate with John’s mum, who was about to leave. We stood chatting and John’s mum said ‘Well, you have the privilege of escorting me to the bus stop!’ I said ‘That will do me fine. I’ll be happy to do that.’ We walked down Menlove Avenue and I turned off to go up Vale Road, where I lived. I must have been about 15 yards up the road when I heard a car skidding. I turned round to see John’s mum going through the air. I rushed over but she had been killed instantly”.-Nigel Walley.
Julia is buried in the Allerton Cemetery in Liverpool.