Immediately on the outbreak of war, James, in common with all the men of the 8th,was mobilised and this noticed dropped through the Marchbank's letter box in Dalkeith
And so off he went, to Haddington for three months of tough foot slogging and weapons training. And then to the war proper in November,1914. At this James filled out his will but fortunately for him , he was never to need it.
It is dated November 11th 1914 the day the 8th went into the line as part of 7th Division, the war would drag on 4 years to the day, yound James no doubt did not think of this at the time.