James arrived in France on the 11th May 1915. His company was serving with the 9th Division on the Somme and was, at the time of his death, attached to a South African Brigade. On the 10th July 1916, during the initial stages of the great Somme battle, the Company was sent to defend a position known as Longueval Alley which was a trench running from Bernafay Wood to Trones Wood. Fighting in the area was very heavy and it is not known at what point James was killed. He is buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Somme, France.