There is some doubt about James' place of birth. Regimental records indicate that he was born in Stockport - in the parish of St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. However, the 1901 Census lists a boy of the right age living in Stockport but who was born in Weaverham, Cheshire. At the time of the Great War, he was living with his mother, Margaret, at 7 Orme's Court, Bamford Street, Stockport. He worked at Battersby's hat factory in Offerton until he enlisted into the army in September 1914.
After training, James and his new comrades went on active service to France in September 1915. Their stay would only be for a few weeks before they embarked for the Salonika theatre of war in Greece. The Battalion would spend the rest of the war here, fighting the Bulgarian Army.
On 10 September 1916, the Battalion had gone into the front line at Ardzan. James's job was with the Battalion's transport and he had recently written to his mother saying "I don't care what danger I go in, Mother, so long as the lads get their rations." James was probably taking the rations to the front line when he was killed - the Battalion's War Dairy noting that the enemy shelled their positions at Deux Ravines and that one man and one mule were killed.
James will have been buried very close to where he died but, after the war, many of these small frontline burial areas were closed and the bodies re-interred at Karasouli.
By the early 1920s, Mrs Groves had moved and was then living at 1 Pass Court on Bamford Street.