1871 Anton Bernhardt Julius Lemmer is born in Hamburg, Germany.
c.1889 After studying music in Berlin, Julius moves to Sydney, Australia to avoid compulsory enlistment in the German Army.
1896 Julius marries Amy, an Australian. They have a son, Adolf Julius.
1899 4 September: Julius and Amy Lemmer move their family to New Zealand where he takes up the role of principal of the Nelson School of Music.
1903 A second son, Max, is born and Julius Lemmer becomes a naturalised British citizen.
1913 Julius takes a year’s leave to return to Europe to study in London and gains an A.R.A.M. (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) from the London Academy of Music.
1914 August: Julius makes a short visit toHamburg but hurriedly returns to London when war is imminent.
1915 January: After being questioned in London by authorities, Julius is cleared to return to NZ as is considered a naturalised British subject. Once in Nelson his offer to resign if the School of Music trustees think his being German will disadvantage the school is rejected by the trustees who give him their full support. But anti-German hysteria is building.
April: The use of the German honorific ‘Herr’ gives way to plain ‘Mr’ in references to Julius Lemmer in local newspapers. The use of ‘Mr’ continues through the course of the war except in letters to the editor published during 1918 in which ‘Herr’ is used by his detractors. Meanwhile, Amy Lemmer begins collecting patriotic funds for the Red Cross from her city neighbourhood, a task she undertakes regularly throughout the war.
October: In the face of increasing opposition, Julius allows his elder son Adolf, a bank clerk, to voluntarily enlist in the New Zealand Army, despite him being under the legal age. (He declared his age at enlistment as 20).
12 February: Adolf Lemmer (service no. 2/2859) embarks from Wellington for Egypt.
1918: The campaign against Julius Lemmer is intensifying, both in Nelson and nationally. The Nelson School of Music receives multiple letters from a number of influential citizens arguing he should be removed as principal of the school. Similar letters and reports are published in local newspapers and the national weekly, Truth and jingoistic newspaper, John Bull. The school’s secretary, Fred Gibbs, responds in defence of Lemmer.
6 April: Adolf dies of injuries sustained on the Somme and is buried in the Gezaincourt cemetery.
15 April: In Nelson, the Lemmers are advised of their son’s death. Fred Gibbs records in his diary they are “frightfully cut up”.
16 April: Adolf’s death is recorded in the Nelson Evening Mail’s Roll of Honour but it does not diminish the anti-Lemmer campaign.
26 May: Nelson School of Music secretary Fred Gibbs records in his diary that he has spent “much time at weekend over most disgraceful anti-Lemmer attack”.
1 August 1918: The Nelson School of Music AGM attracts record numbers and the first ever contested election of trustees by the anti-Lemmer lobby. But Lemmer supporters win and he is retained.
1936 Julius Lemmer wishes to retire and hand over the reins of the Nelson School of Music to a younger man but is persuaded to stay by Gibbs.
1940 Julius again tries to retire but World War Two makes it difficult to find a replacement, so he again stays on until one can be found.
1944 Julius is finally able to retire with the appointment of a new principal.
1950 Amy Lemmer dies.
1957 17 September: Julius Lemmer dies in Nelson after 45 years at the Nelson School of Music.