India General Service Medal with clasp 'Burma 1930-32'
James was born in around April 1905 in Waterford in County Waterford, Ireland. His mother was called Ellen, and they were Roman Catholics, but we don't know anything else about his early life or family. By 1924 he and his mother had moved to Liverpool, where she lived in the Old Swan area of the city. James had found work as a carter. We don't know whether he lived with his mother.
On the 9th February 1924 James joined the Army in Liverpool. He chose to enlist in the Manchester Regiment and was given the service number 3519336. He carried out his basic training at the Manchester Regiment Depot in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, but we don't know anything about his career until 1930, when he was a member of the 2nd Battalion in Secunderabad, India.
The 2nd Battalion had been based overseas since James had enlisted. They were stationed in Rangoon, Burma from 1925 until early 1928, when they moved to Maymyo in the Burmese jungle. They had moved to Secunderabad in November 1929. We don't know when James joined them.
In December 1930 a rebellion broke out in several regions of Burma. The authorities requested more troops from India to help restore control, so James and the 2nd Battalion returned to the country in June 1931. They took part in patrols of the jungle and villages in their allotted area until the rebellion was brought to an end by early 1932. James returned to Secunderabad in early February.
James had enlisted for 7 years Regular service, to be followed by 5 in the Army Reserve. This time ended in February 1931, but because he was overseas he could remain a Regular for up to 1 more year. This time would be taken off his Reserve service.
We don't know when James left the Regular Army. The 2nd Battalion moved to Khartoum in Sudan during October 1932, and returned to the UK on the 13th December 1933.
As a Reservist James was able to find a home and a job. He returned to Liverpool, but we don't know what work he did. James' time as a civilian was short lived. He died at the Mill Road Hospital in Liverpool on the 4th August 1935. He was 30 years old. He was buried in Yew Tree Cemetery in the West Derby area of the city on the 8th.