2nd Lieutenant, 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment.
Killed on Thursday 22nd October 1914 at Violaines, age 25.
Remembered on Le Touret Memorial, France, panel 13.
Former student of Teaching and Phiology.
James was born on 5th May 1889 to Joseph, a mill and foundary furnisher, and Hannah Greenhalgh of Timperley. He was educated at St. George the Martyr’s School and the Bolton Church Institute. He entered Manchester University in 1907, prior to which he was a student teacher at St. James’ School, Gorton. He gained a BA in 1910, a Teachers Certificate Class II in 1910, and an M.A. in Phiology in 1912. He was a member of the Officer Training Corps from November 1908 to September 1911.
After leaving the University James was a Classics Master at Lord William’s Grammar School, Thame, Oxfordshire for two years and then took up an appointment at Ashton-in-Makerfield Grammar School. He also gained the French Language Certificate of Rouen. Just before the outbreak of war he became Secretary of the International Textile Institute (Manchester) after successfully completing part of the Bachelor of Commerce course.
James was a prominent footballer playing for his school, the University and Bolton Wanderers. He secured his colours for three different counties.
Being on the Reserve of Officers he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant to the 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment on 6th Aug 1914. He left for France on 7th September 1914 and saw action at the Battle of the Aisne, La Bassee, Festubert and Violannes. On the 19th October 1914 his Captain was wounded and Greenhalgh took charge, driving the Germans out of their position, but unable to hold it he and his men retired to their own trenches, collecting the wounded on the way. Three days later he was wounded and died. Captain Lewis Lloyd wrote: “On Friday night your son was my subaltern, when we had a pretty hot time with the enemy. I was wounded by the first volley, and your son took my place and behaved splendidly. He carried on as well or better than I could have done had I been unwounded, and it was entirely due to his behavior that we were able to drive off the enemy and to retire with our wounded. I can never thank him enough. I personally brought his conduct to the knowledge of the General, and trust he will receive the honour he deserves.” James has no known grave.