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In honour of our soldiers: George and Reginald Lemon

By Matthew Cheung

Published 10:40 PDT, Fri June 7, 2024

In a series about Richmond’s poppy street signs, in memory of our fallen soldiers, we share the story of Lemon Avenue. 

Reginald Lemon was born on June 17, 1890 in London, England to Annie Lemon and John George Lemon, a wharfinger at Woodwards Landings. Reginald’s younger brother, George Lemon was born on Feb. 15, 1894. 

Reginald was married to Lillie Susan, living at 2177 West 13th Avenue, Vancouver, and worked as a policeman. Two weeks after George enlisted in Vernon, Reginald would do the same, bringing with him the experience he had garnered while serving in the British Army, where he spent a majority of his time with the 5th East Surrey Regiment. Upon enlistment both George and Reginald joined the 62nd (Overseas) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, who boarded the S.S. Baltic that arrived in England on April 10, 1916.. 

Prior to their arrival, Reginald was promoted to acting Sergeant rank and transferred to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion on July 28, 1916. His rank was confirmed on Aug. 20, 1916 and was transferred again on May 8, 1917. Amidst this time, George was transferred to the 29th Battalion and promoted to Corporal. 

Tragedy would strike the Lemon family, as both George and Reginald would be killed in action in August 1917. Reginald, just three months after his transfer, would be killed in action, on Aug. 15, 1917, his younger brother’s death would follow just six days after, but the cause of death is not confirmed. 

Reginald was survived by his wife Lillie, during this time, who had been residing in Wimbledon. She would receive a war gratuity of $100, a memorial cross, plaque and scroll. Annie Lemon, the mother of George and Reginald, received the memorial cross from the Canadian government. The Memorial Cross was awarded to mothers and widows of Canadian soldiers who died on active duty or whose death was consequentially attributed to such duty. 

On Jan. 8, 1990, the City of Richmond honoured the Lemon family and their contributions to the city and war, by naming a road after them. Today, Lemon Avenue, can be found in the Hamilton area located in East Richmond. 

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