James enlisted on 28th September 1915 into the Home Hospital Reserve. He was 19 years and 6 months old; was a Weaver by trade, and was living at 13 Meadow Street, Darwen at the time. He joined at Dublin on 1st October, then transferred to Aldershot on the 13th, where he served with No 14 Coy. A letter date stamped 13th February 1916, provided his signature as agreement that he was willing to proceed on ‘Active Service’. On 9th November he embarked at Southampton with “FFF Reinforcements”, then disembarking at Rouen the next day he entered the war in France on 7th November 1916. On the 14th November he was posted to serve with 45th Field Ambulance in the field.
On 2nd August 1917, James was wounded by a gas shell, causing a physical wound and gas poisoning. He was evacuated to No 46 Casualty Clearing Station on the 3rd, then transferred via No 9 Ambulance Train to No 11 Stationary Hospital, arriving on the 4th August 1917. On 11th August he was transferred to England via the hospital ship ‘Carisbrooke Castle’, then came under the care of the 1st Northern General Hospital, Newcastle-on-Lyne from 12th August to 26th September 1917. He was then transferred to an Auxiliary Hospital. On 7th January 1918 he was posted to No 2 Training Battalion in Blackpool, then on 28th February was posted to serve with No 20 Coy in Tidworth, where he remained until 29th July 1919. James was finally discharged to Class Z Reserve on 27th August 1919. He was the son of Albert and Mrs M Raw of 43 Maria Street, Darwen [Information courtesy of Tony Foster]