James was born at St Arnaud, VIC in 1893 to Francis Harbottle (whose father was James Elijah Crook(2)) and Hannah Eliza McCausland. Francis had three brothers, Charles, Cecil and Francis, who are also remembered in the Avenue. There was a sister, Ida, who wished to serve as a nurse(5).
James - known as Bob(4) - was a farmer in Bacchus Marsh, VIC when he enlisted in the AIF, 14th Reinforcements, 22nd Battalion on the 9th of February 1916, aged nearly 24. James was promoted to Lance Corporal in June and embarked aboard the HMAT A32 Themistocles in July, disembarking at Plymouth, England in September.
In November 1916 James disembarked at Etaples, France and reverted to the rank of Private - he joined the 22nd Battalion in the field in December. In February 1917 he spent a month in hospital with Myalgia, rejoining his unit at the end of March and promoted to Lance Corporal. James received a gunshot wound to the hand(3) in May and was admitted to hospital in England - he rejoined his unit in France in October.
James spent two weeks in hospital with Scabies in January 1918 and was again in hospital in April. Whilst returning to his unit he was AWL for nearly two weeks in May and as punishment he lost his Lance stripe and forfeited 14 days pay.
On the 17th of July 1918 James was wounded in action - gassed.
The gas bombardment which commenced at 11.30pm 16/7/18 continued until 2.30am this morning and resulted in the battalion's area being completely saturated.Source: Unit Diary entry
In August James was evacuated back to hospital in England - gas poisoning. He was again AWL in November and forfeited 14 days pay. He embarked for Australia aboard the Ulysses, disembarking in March and was discharged from the AIF in April 1918.
James was living in Colbinabbin East, VIC when he enlisted in the Australian Army in 1940. He was discharged in 1947, rank Corporal, unit 18th Salvage Section.
James died at Heidelberg, VIC, in 1967, aged 75.
He is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh.
Google Maps GPS Tree Position (accuracy ±1 tree) -37.67995480749828 144.45617079734802
Last updated by lee, Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:56:09