James was born in 1895 in Wooburn. His parents were Alfred, a bricklayer’s labourer, and Ellen. He had 2 sisters, one older and one younger. They lived in Bottle Cottage in Flackwell Heath - a house that stood where the chemist is now and was faced with the ends of many types of bottles. He attended the School in 1908 and won a prize for watercolour painting. He enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery (“Y” 74th T.M. Battalion) in High Wycombe. He died at sea while on the HT Osmanieh aged 22 on December 31st 1917 and is remembered on the Chatby Memorial in Egypt and on the Flackwell Heath Memorial. The HT Osmanieh struck a mine entering the port of Alexandria with the loss of 76 officers & men.
More information can be found about the men on Flackwell Heath memorial can be found here