James qualified L.R.C.S.& P.I. in 1877, then took up a commission within the Medical Services at the rank of Surgeon on 4th August 1878. He saw active service during the Afghan War from 1878 to 1880, taking part in the the siege of Kandubar, and battle of 1st September for which he received a medal. In 1881 he served with the Bozdar Field Force in the Bozdar campaign, then in 1884 served in the Zhob Valley expedition, on the North-West Frontier of India. He gained promotion to the rank of Surgeon Major on 4th August 1890, then Lieutenant Colonel on 4th August 1898. He then saw active service in South Africa, serving under the temporary rank of Colonel whilst in charge of a General Hospital January 1900 to November 1901, being present in operations in Natal from March to June 1900, and in Transvaal from January to November 1901. For his service there he was Mentioned in Despatches, and received the Queen’s South African Medal with 3 clasps. On 4th June 1905 he gained promotion tot he rank of Colonel, and served as Principle Medical Officer in Malta from 1905 to 1909, during which time he was awarded the Order of Commander of St Maurice and St Lazarus by H. M. the King of Italy, in connection with the Messina Earthquake in 1908. On 23rd April 1910 he was promoted to the rank of Surgeon General, and from 1910 to 1911 served as Principal Medical Officer with the 8th Lucknow Division. On 19th June 1911 he was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath in the coronation honours. He was then stationed with the Southern Command, England from 1912 to 1914. At the outbreak of war, James was appointed as Deputy Director of Medical Services to the headquarters of the Central Force in London. The Central Force was set up for defensive and offensive operations in the event of an invasion, but ceased to exist as a separate entity by March 1915, being succeeded by the Home Forces in January 1916. James was then appointed Director of Medical Services, India. He retired from the army on 28th December 1917. Almost two exactly two years later he died suddenly at Southsea. He was the son of the Rev. James MacNeece, M.A. of Clonfeacle, Rectory, Moy and of Mulnagar Lodge, Dongannon Co Tyrone.