James enlisted in Sydney in January 1916 when he was twenty eight years old. He was the fourth son of Mr and Mrs. W. F. Lawry of Melbourne. He gave his birthplace as San Francisco USA. His enlistment form includes the remarks that he was a ‘naturalised British subject (naturalised by Residence 24 years).’ He had lived near Delungra after taking up land on the Myall Creek Estate.
James had married at Inverell in 1913 and he and his wife lived on their property ‘Mywiviley’ Delungra. Before the War he was a member of the Delungra Farmers and Settlers Association.
He joined the Field Artillery Brigade 7, Battery 27 and left Australia on HMAT A8 Argyllshire in May 1916. The previous month he had been promoted to Temporary Sergeant. After arriving in England further training took place until he was sent to France in December. By November 1917 he was a 2nd Lieutenant with the 3rd Division Artillery. In March 1918 he became a Lieutenant.
His appointment was terminated in December 1919 and he was demobilised in England in March 1920 when he applied for permission to return to Australia via the USA. He was offered work in China and died at sea between Hong Kong and Shanghai in June 1921. James was buried at sea. His elder brother Walter served with the 1st Light Horse Regiment.
Lieutenant James Lawry has his name recorded on The Inverell Club Honour Roll, the Delungra Roll of Honor and on the new Memorial gate at Anzac Park, Delungra.