James was born in Bacchus Marsh, VIC, in 1895 to John Connell and Mary Allan. James had a brother, William, who is also remembered in the Avenue.
James was a school teacher and lived in Bacchus Marsh, VIC, when he enlisted in the AIF, 13th Light Horse Regiment, on the 24th of February 1915, aged not quite 20. He had previously served three years in the Cadets and 18 months in the Citizens Forces. At the end of May, James embarked aboard the HMAT A34 Persic, disembarking in Egypt at the end of June.
James landed at Gallipoli in September 1915 and was deployed without a horse - the Light Horse being considered unsuitable for the conditions. He most probably manned the trenches at Lone Pine before departing Gallipoli in December, returning to Egypt in January 1916. He became part of the 4th Divisional Cavalry before disembarking at Marseilles, France in June.
In July 1916 the Divisional cavalry units were reunited as the 13th Light Horse as part of the 1st ANZAC Mounted Troops. James was promoted to Lance Corporal in May 1917. A year later he was transferred to the 24th Battalion. In April 1918 James received a gunshot wound to left knee and was invalided back to England.
James embarked for Australia aboard the Berrima in January 1919, arriving back in Australia in February. He was discharged from the AIF in April 1919.
James died in Fitzroy, VIC, in 1966, aged 70.
He is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh.
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Last updated by lee, Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:34:39