James was born in Southport, Lancashire in about 1888, son of George, a labourer and his wife Betty (nee Jones). The family were still living in Southport in 1891, with James' elder siblings Henry, John and Margaret. By 1901, the family were still in Southport but George was remarried, to Jane, working as an office caretaker; only John and James are at home. James left home shortly after and joined the army serving with the Kings Liverpool Regiment for about three years and seven months, leaving on the expiry of his contract.
In 1908 James married Edith May Milner in Ormskirk, Lancashire and the couple lived there in 1911. James was a tradesman's carter and later drove a bakery cart. Three children follow, two sons George, born 1912 and Gerald, born 1916, and then daughter Eveline who is born in August 1918, some months after James' death. Unfortunately, the eldest child George also died in 1918.
James reenlisted in the Army at Seaforth on August 31st, 1914 initially rejoining the Kings Liverpool Regiment (12th Battalion) although he was subsequently discharged in January 1915 due to cardiac disease. He apparently rejoined with the Royal Army Service
Private James Rimmer
Army Service Corps (Driver); then Labour Corps, service no.
Died in Brecon April 17th, 1918, aged 30
Buried in Crossens Churchyard, Southport, Lancashire
John Bather died in 1908 and by 1911 his widow Annie had moved back to Brecon, living at 73, The Struet with the rest of her family, including son Charles Edward, 15. Also living there as a visitor at the time of the census was Richard Phillips, 14. Both lads were errand boys at the time although Ritchie later started an apprenticeship at Garratt's Boot and Shoe Factory. Ritchie is referred to later as Mrs Bather's adopted son.
Ritchie enlisted in the 1st Brecknock Battalion, South Wales Borderers soon after the outbreak of war, later being transferred to the 2nd Monmouthshire Regiment. He survived the war although he was badly gassed in France and was invalided out of the army, never really recovering from this cruel engine of war.
Back in Brecon he returned to work for Mr. S Garratt, Boot maker but was unable to continue his employment and shortly before his death arrangements were being made for him to go to the seaside in the hope that his health might improve, He died in April 1920 and was buried in Brecon Cemetery.
(Charles Edward and Benjamin Morris Bather³⁸ also feature in this book)