James was born in 1880 to parents William and Susan in the parish of St Luke’s Bedminster and had an older sister Rose, two younger sisters Anne and Caroline plus a young brother Henry. His father was a Driver/Groom and his mother a charwoman. In 1901 the family was living at Clarks Cottages Bedminster and James was working as a collier below ground.
James was corporal in the Marine Light Infantry No. PLY/5215 based at HMS Impregnable although his service record shows that he also served in Europe. James died on the 14th April 1915 and is buried in Ford Park Cemetery Plymouth.