James George Black was born in Liverpool, Lancashire on 8
January 1877 to Robert and Louisa Black (nee Potter). On the 1881 Census the family were living at
Mortimer Road, Cambridge. His father was a Presbyterian Minister. On the 1891
Census he was a schoolboy living with his brother Lewis, an undergraduate, at
Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire.
He enlisted into the army as a lieutenant and served in the
1st Suffolk Regiment, 1st Essex Regiment and Army Service
Corps. He received the Kings South
Africa medal and Clasps in 1903. having served in the second Boer War from 1899
He became an Animal Health Inspector
on 1 January 1906 and on the 1911 Census he was a boarder at the White Hart
Hotel, Bailgate, Lincoln with his occupation given as District Inspector for
the Board of Agriculture.