James enlisted on 14th October 1915. He was 31 years and 9 days old, and was an Insurance Agent by trade. He embarked at Southampton on 2nd May 1916 with the 138th Field Ambulance, then disembarking at Havre the next day, entered the war in France on 3rd May 1916. On 21st October 1917 he became attached to No 14 Heavy Artillery Group. He was then posted to serve with the 141st Field Ambulance, joining them in the field on 5th October 1918. On 15th June 1919 he proceeded to No 1 Concentration Camp, Cologne for dispersal and was struck off the strength of the unit.