James Henry Wick was the third child of David and Mary Ann Wick (nee Read). He was born in Brent Pelham in the summer of 1894. In the 1901 census, the family lived at Black Hall farm, Brent Pelham, where David was a horseman. In 1911 the address is given more precisely as Westley Cottages, Black Hall. In 1911, James Henry, by now 16, (and known as Henry) was employed as a domestic gardener.