James was born in 1897 in Merton Surrey. At the outbreak of the First World War, he joined the 6th City of London Rifles Regiment.
He saw in action in Belgium and France and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. In 1917 during the Battle of Cambria he was captured and became a prisoner of war. Eventually he escaped and made his way to Brussels, hiding until the war ended.
To him, like many young men, the war brought a sense of adventure and patriotism, going to fight for ‘King and Country’. The reality he found was death and suffering on an enormous scale.
“James was a lucky man, escaping death on many occasions. He was also proud and sometimes stubborn, but with a good sense of humour, and I think these qualities helped him to endure the terrible ordeal. I hope those who read this book gain a better understanding of the suffering and heartbreak endured by the common soldier.”