Born on the 3rd June 1885 James was the second born to James and Mary Emma Bradshaw of Birkenhead, in 1891 the family were living at 33 Mornington Street, Birkenhead, James was working as a Carter, by 1901 the family had moved to 34 Mill Street, James age 15 is listed as working as a porter, he is also listed in the Railway Employment records for the Great Western Railway in 1900 as working as a Carriage washer at Birkenhead Station.
On the 13th October 1906 James enlisted into the Scots Guards in Liverpool giving his age as 18 years 6 months, his height was 5ft 10ins, eyes blue, hair brown and weighed 133lbs. He had picked up a few scars, his papers list 2 scars back of left leg, scar front of right elbow, scar back of left elbow and scar left side upper lip. He signed up for three years during this time he didn’t serve abroad, mainly based at Pirbright and London. He served an extra year, joining the reserves in October 1910.
James was mobilized at the beginning of August 1914 and landed in France on the 13th. James is officially reported killed in Action on the 14th September 1914 just 33 days later.