Allied Victory Medal
James was born in Salford, near Manchester. We don't know anything about his early life.
When the First World War broke out in August 1914 James felt a strong enough connection to Manchester to want to join the 5th City Battalion that was being formed by its workers. He enlisted between November 1914 and May 1915 and was given the service number 17815. This unit became the 20th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and James was assigned to XIV Platoon in D Company. His Platoon Sergeant was Alfred Bain, whose medals are also in the Museum of the Manchester Regiment collection.
James arrived in France on the 24th December 1915. This was later than the rest of the Battalion, which had arrived in November. We don't know why James did not cross with them.
James stayed with the 20th Battalion during his time in France. They first went into the front line in March 1916, but were soon training for the Somme Offensive; scheduled to begin on the 1st July 1916.
James was Killed in Action on the first day of the Offensive, the 1st July. We don't know how old he was. After the war James' body could not be found so his is one of the 72203 names listed on the Thiepval Memorial in France. James is on Pier 13 Face A or Pier 14 Face C.
As well as his Allied Victory Medal James was also awarded the 1914-15 Star and the British War Medal for his war service.