James was born to James and Sarah Deane in Sydney in 1892 and attended the Christian Brothers School at Newtown. He was living at Inverell NSW when he enlisted in August 1916. At a farewell function held at the Town Hall prior to his departure, he was one of eleven men presented with the Inverell Medal and socks.
James was twenty three when he joined the 33rd Battalion, 6th Reinforcement and sailed from Sydney on HMAT A72 Beltana in November 1916. After arriving in England the following January, further training was undertaken before he was sent to France in May 1917.
In early February 1918 James received multiple gunshot wounds to his back and leg and was admitted to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station in France where he died of wounds. He was buried at Trois Arbes Cemetery Steenwerck, France. His few personal effects were returned to his sister Rosie and included, letters, pipe, fountain pen and a wallet. His war medals were sent to his elder brother Gervis.
Image: from private collection with permission