1914-15 Star; British War Medal
James was born on the 31st July 1889. He lived with his father, George, who worked as a dyer, and his mother, Elizabeth, who was a laundress, on Silk Street in Ancoats. James had an older sister called Elizabeth. By 1914 James lived at 12 Turner Lane in Ashton-under-Lyne.
At some point before the First World War James joined the 3rd Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. This was part of the Territorial Force, meaning James trained as a soldier at evening, weekends and attended an annual summer camp.
When war broke out James was ‘embodied’ or mobilised for active service, and given the service number 2132. He was 5 foot 3 inches tall with good eyesight. His records show he briefly joined the Suffolk Regiment before being transferred back to his previous battalion in the Manchester Regiment, although this may be an administrative error. The 3rd Volunteer Battalion was renamed the 1/9th Battalion, a ‘first line’ territorial unit for overseas service. The battalion sailed for Egypt and arrived in Alexandria on the 25th September 1914.
James served during the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915. He was shot in the thigh and severely wounded on the 14th June. He was evacuated to a hospital ship where he spent five days before arriving in Malta where he spent four months recovering. He re-joined the 1/9th Battalion on the 5th of October 1915.
On the 12th July 1918 James was transferred to the Labour Corps and given a new service number 350619.
After the war James lived at 49 High Street in Droylsden. He later married Catherine and they both worked in the local cotton industry.
James’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2014.