Regimental records, published after the war, suggest that James had been born in the parish of St Mary's C of E Church, Stockport. However information recorded on the family history website, CheshireBMD, indicates that the birth of a boy of the right age was registered at Mottram in 1889.
He worked as a doubler at a cotton mill in Manchester. The local newspaper, reporting his death, noted that this was Bennett & Brown Ltd. There was a Manchester mill of the time owned by J Henderson Brown Ltd. The company was a member of the Cotton Doublers Association and it's entry in the Manchester Battalion's Book of Honour does list a James Cameron as an employee who served.
By 1914, James was married to Mary and they lived with young son at 21 Crowther Street, in the Hillgate area of town. Shortly after War was declared on 4 August, James volunteered for the army. In June of the following year, the newly formed 8th Cheshires left Britain for the ill-fated campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.
On 7/8 August, the Cheshires supported unsuccessful attacks by an Australian Battalion and the 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. James wrote home to Mary saying that "he was lucky to be alive as half the men were cut down". In fact, casualties were comparatively light with only 11 killed or missing and 66 wounded for the whole of the month.
On 1 September, James and his comrades were relieved from the front-line fighting zone and moved into dug-outs made in cliffs at the south end of Suvla Bay. The next day, they started work to improve nearby defences and, sometime during the day, James was seriously wounded, most probably by shrapnel. He was moved to the beachhead where he would have been stabilised for further transport. He was then put on a hospital ship for evacuation away from the peninsula. The ship's chaplain later wrote to Mary "Everything possible was done for him by the doctors and nurses but he died the same night. He was hardly conscious at all and I do not think he felt much pain. We buried his body at sea."
Two years later, Mary (believed by now to be living at 45 Bamford Street) inserted an "in memoriam" notice into the edition of the Stockport Express, published on 6 September 1917:-
I do not forget him, nor do I intend
I think of him daily and will till the end
I miss him and mourn in silence unseen
And dwell on the memory of days that have been