Queen’s South Africa Medal with ‘Cape Colony’, ‘Orange Free State’ and ‘South Africa 1902’ clasps
James was born in 1884. In 1891 he lived at Hyde Street in Newton with his mother, Anne, who was a widow. By 1901 he lived at 13 Great Newtown Street in Prestwich. His mother married his stepfather, Richard Hopwood, who was a brick setter. James had three brothers called William, Samuel and Dennis. He also had three step-siblings. They were called Lettice, Thomas and Joseph. James worked as a labourer with a railway carriage maker.
James initially joined the 3rd Royal Lancashire Regiment, however, he was discharged due to being underage. He then joined the 6th Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment on the 19th August 1901. He was given the service number of 8167 and recorded as being 5 foot 5 inches tall, with hazel eyes and brown hair.
James was part of the reinforcements sent to South Africa during the latter stages of the Boer War. He arrived in Cape Town in March 1902 but there are no further details of his service. He survived the war and was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with the ‘Cape Colony’, ‘Orange Free State’ and ‘South Africa 1902’ clasps. This indicates he served in these regions but did not participate in a major battle. Details of his later life are unknown.
James’s medal was donated to the museum collections in 2015.