Alexander James was born October 3, 1885 at Elgin, Scotland, the son of Alexander and Annie James. A sister, Mrs. Andrew Davidson, was living in Revelstoke. Alexander came to Canada with his brother John in 1905, at the age of 19. He worked on farms around Winnipeg and then Calgary, and also worked for the CPR. He was staying with his sister in Revelstoke when he decided to enlist. He was a member of the Rocky Mountain Rangers militia.
Alexander James signed his enlistment papers March 3, 1915 at Victoria. His regimental number was 430165. He was 29 years old, single, 5’ 7” tall with brown hair and grey eyes. His religious affiliation was Presbyterian. He gave his occupation as rancher. He had enlisted with the 48th Battalion. In a postcard sent to his sister, Mrs. Elsie Davidson in July 1915, he stated, "I am on the boat. We arrived in Montreal last night and pull out this morning, had a good trip so far. The 'Grampian' is the name of the boat. Will write again when I reach England. So long, Alex."
Alexander James died of wounds January 25, 1917, after being hit by a mortar shell. He was 31 years old. At the time of his death he was a Lance Sergeant with the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Pioneers. He is buried at the Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
The March 22, 1917 edition of the Review had this item about Alexander James:
“The Northern Scot, published at Elgin, Scotland, referring to the death of Sergt. Alexander James, brother of Mrs. A. Davidson of Revelstoke, who recently died of wounds received in action says: “Sergt. Alexander James, Canadian Expeditionary Force, son of Mr. A. James, Brook’s cottage, Kellas, who has died from wounds received in action. Writing to the late soldier’s sister the officer in command of the company says of him – ‘He was a splendid fellow, and so popular among the men – one of the best NCO’s I ever had, always ready for anything and afraid of nothing. I am sure he would not have had it otherwise, for no more noble end can come to any man. It is we who are left that suffer, and if it is any comfort to you to know that he died game like the true soldier that he was, I can assure you that he did. He was very popular with all the officers of the company, as he could always be depended on.”
The name Alexander James is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques. There is also an Alec James inscribed on the Nakusp Cenotaph who may be the same person as the one on the Revelstoke Cenotaph.
Alex James was the uncle of former Revelstoke residents Andy Davidson and Elsie Jamieson of Revelstoke. Other family members still reside here.