James was only 5 feet 3 inches tall.
He enlisted on 26 December 1914, technically as a Territorial, but was immediately active. He joined the 5th battalion which in March 1915 became part of 88th Brigade of the 29th Division. The 29th Division served in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign against the Turkish army
The Division embarked at Avonmouth on 16th-22nd March 1915 and went via Malta to Alexandria.
On the 7th April re-embarkation began for the first units to have arrived at Egypt, for the move to Mudros.
The Division landed at Cape Helles on Gallipoli on the 25th April 1915 and his unit was one of the first ashore.
His service record shows that in July and August 1915, like so many of his colleagues, he suffered from sickness and diarrhoea while serving in the trenches.
He then received a gunshot wound in the shoulder and was removed to HM Hospital Ship Nevasa where he died on Monday 27th August 1915 and was buried at sea off Cape Helles
The Scotsman Newspaper reported his death on Tuesday the 28th September 1915
His half-sister, Mrs Pedersen, lived in North Queensferry.