James, as he was known, had been a regular soldier before the war, but his term of service had ended in 1908. Nevertheless, he was on the Reserve list, and was mobilised on 5th August 1914. He joined the 1stBattalion Sherwood Foresters – the same unit he had served with previously. By this time, he was married, with a new baby daughter.
In January 1915 his battalion was in trenches at Richebourg, near Arras. The 25th saw an increase in enemy activity, and the men were warned to be on the ‘qui vive’ since the 26th would be the Kaiser’s birthday. Though no-one was killed outright that day, 12 men were wounded. Among them was James, who had a fractured skull. He was taken to Casualty Clearing Hospital 6 at Estaires, but died in the night of 27th / 28th.
His wife Julia received a pension of 15 shillings a week, and in 1922 she got his medals. It seems that she never remarried.