Born in 1898 at the Waterworks [Cold Hesledon]. In 1911 James lived at 10 Hesledon Terrace, Cold Hesledon with his parents Patrick and Elizabeth together with brother James, sisters Mary and Margaret, and Elizabeth’s sister Margaret Riley. Boarding with the Hall family at the time were William and George Suggett. James worked as a putter at Murton Colliery. and enlisted at Seaham Harbour.
The 21st [6th City] Battalion, Manchester Regiment were in action 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, including the capture of Mametz, High Wood.
In 1917 they fought during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and the flanking operations round Bullecourt during the Arras Offensive, before moving to Flanders for the Third Battle of Ypres, seeing action in the Battle of Polygon Wood, Second Battle of Paschendale.
The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. The salient was formed during the first Battle of Ypres. The second battle of Ypres began in 1915 when the Germans released poisonous gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. The Tyne Cot Memorial bears the names of 11,956 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Tyne Cot Cemetery 8,369 of these are unidentified.