Papers of Sir Ernest Lemon

Scope and Content

Lemon's own fair copies recording his working life, especially including the Ministry of Production and his time as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Also, personal items such as letters of congratulation upon Lemon's Knighthood.

Full catalogue.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Ernest John Hutchings Lemon, OBE was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway from 1931, within a year he was promoted to Vice-President Railway Traffic, Operating and Commercial. Under his Vice-Presidency, the LMS undertook modernisation of their motive power depots. He retired from the railway in 1943.

During the run-up to the Second World War Lemon was made Director-General of Aircraft Production, making crucial improvements to aircraft production. He was a member of the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps [unit of the Royal Engineers], joining as a Major in 1929, he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1932. He resigned his commission in 1943. His war work was honoured with a Knighthood in 1941. After retiring from the railway, Lemon became a Director at Scottish Aviation.


  • LEM/1 loose papers, some collated by Lemon's family.
  • LEM/2 bound volume collated by Lemon, containing: minutes; letters; railway infrastructure proposals; diary, 1940-1943; Ministry of Production materials related to aircraft/weaponry and planning for war and peace times; and details of production for Firefly and Barracuda. Each file within the volume has been catalogued separately.
  • LEM/3 cuttings and congratulations upon being appointed Director General of Production, Jun 1938.
  • LEM/4 congratulations upon Lemon's Knighthood, 1942. Alphabetical.
  • LEM/5 publications, one collected by Lemon's family.

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Archivist's Note

Compiled by Karyn French, Archivist, Mar 2018.