James was the son of Alexander and Margaret Clark of 11 Rowland Street, Birkenhead. He was born on the 23rd November 1894, he was educated at Beckwith Street Wesleyan School, and for seven years he worked as a clerk at the Mersey Railway Booking Office.
He enlisted in Birkenhead January 1916 after undergoing an operation enabling him to join up, joining the 10th Bn (Scottish) Kings Liverpool Regiment and was then transferred to the 17th Bn he served in France and Flanders and was killed in action on the 12th October 1916. Age 21.
The battalion diary for the action in which James fell reads.
7am 10-10-16: Battalion marched from DERNANCOURT under bde 0.0.58 to S.21.G and rested at this point for dinner and tea. Transport and quartermaster stores moved to X.30.a. 5/5
5pm: Battalion moved off in file to relieve a battalion of the 123rd Infantry brigade in the front line N.W of FLERS via LONGUEVAL and across country.
6:30 am 11-10-16: Relief completed.
11-10-16: Battalion in front line and support trenches, British bombardment of enemy front line system commenced around midday.
Hostile shelling was intermittent throughout the day.
Casualties: - 2nd Lt N Smith and 2nd Lt J H Fearon wounded 7 OR (other ranks) killed and 22 OR wounded.
12-10-16: Our bombardment continued, enemy reply was weak
2-5pm: Zero Hour, attack on German front line system commenced, enemy wire was found to be uncut, and the attack was unsuccessful. Hostile machine gun fire was very heavy and caused many causalities, battalion HQ and support trenches were heavily shelled throughout the afternoon and evening. Small platoon of the 20th Bn K L R (in support) only succeeded in reaching our front line at about 5pm after which the supports gradually got into position, during this action all communications had to be carried out by runners or carrier pigeons as all wires were continually cut by enemy shelling.
Casualties: - Killed Capt S C S Horser, 2nd Lts K.G Collin, S J Ireland, W Hornby, J G Dixon
Wounded: - Lieut I V H Campbell and 2nd Lt A P Watson
OR (other Ranks) Killed 38 Wounded or Missing about 225
It does mention on the next day the 13th 2nd Lt A P Watson died of wounds
According to soldiers affects his mother, Margaret received £3 war gratuity. James is named on the Birkenhead war memorial, he is also named in the Railway Roll of Honour.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Peter Threlfall for his help in supplying this information on James.