Born in Weston in 1879 to James and Mary Wallis of Maiden Street, Weston, Nr Stevenage, Herts. Married Frances Aylott in 1903. They lived at Halls Green, where their two children, Ivy and Bert were born. His wife died in 1908 and on the 1911 Census he and his two children were living with his parents and family at Maiden Street, Weston, where he is listed as a widower and working as a farm labourer. James enlisted in the army and served as a corporal in the Boer War and he returned home safely. Re-enlisted at Hertford for World War I.