Welsh Regiment, 16th Btn., attached to 11th Btn. SWB
Died on September 17th, 1917, aged 45
Buried at Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension, Nord,
James was born in Dumfries, Scotland in 1871, but lived in Brecon from a young age, the family having moved here in the 1870s.
The family lived in 24, John Street in 1881. His father, also James was a general labourer, although he had previously been in the military as a colour sergeant in the 23rd regiment, fought in the Crimea and stationed at Brecon Barracks for many years. James' father was born in Aberdeen, but his mother Emma was born in Brecon. James attended Pendre School.
James had previously joined the army as a private and served with the Grenadier Guards, but later joined the Glamorgan Constabulary, rising to the rank of inspector and worked in Cardiff and Barry. On the outbreak of war in South Africa he rejoined his regiment in London and fought against the Boers. He was of a modest and genial disposition and a good violinist.
James was promoted to major and became second in command of the Cardiff City Battalion in France in December 1915. He was later promoted to lieutenant colonel and in August 1917 took command of
a battalion of the South Wales Borderers. He unfortunately died of drowning whilst bathing in a canal early in the morning of September 17th. Two of his men saw that he was in difficulties, presumably from cramp, but he sank before assistance could reach him.