The Armoury, Brynmawr which is a base for the volunteers. He serves three years before turning 15 in 1908. He then enlists giving his trade as a fitter with the Ebbw Vale Iron and Coal Company and becomes a bugler and attends annual training in Porthcawl in June of that year. James later decides to leave the army and gives three months’ notice before leaving in March 1909, but has rejoined by 1911 when he is shown with the 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers at Chatham Barracks.
James' father Evan dies in March 1909 and step mother Anne later remarries William John Wootton a Brecon born solicitors clerk and the couple run the Kings Arms Hotel in the town.
James became an acting sergeant and went to France on August 13th, 1914 and would have been involved in many battles probably including Mons, Marne, Aisne, Ypres, before Givenchy and Wytschaete.
James was born in Aldershot in about 1893, the son of Evan Jenkin James and his wife Rosetta Annie (nee Childs). Evan was born in Tredegar and was a colour sergeant in the South Wales Borderers.
Rosetta was born in London and moved to Brecon with her family before 1881 when they were living at 1, The Struet. Her father Henry was a house painter. By 1891 Rosetta's father had died and she was helping her mother run a tobacconist shop. She married Evan early in 1892 and the next year James was born.
However, Rosetta appears to have died later that decade as in the 1901 Census, James, 8 is living with the Davies family in Free Street, Brecon and shown as a nurse child and later the same year father Evan marries Esther Anne Davies, 19 who becomes James' step mother. Anne is a younger sister of Lieutenant William J Davies who is separately featured in this book¹⁶.
By 1905 James is living in Brynmawr and joins the Brecknock battalion as a boy soldier at 12 years old and gives his address as
See page 51
Sergeant James Phillip Arthur James
South Wales Borderers 1st Battalion, service no. 10266
Killed in Action Died December 27th, 1914, aged 23
Commemorated at the Le Touret Memorial, Calais, France