James was the second son of Alfred and Mary Jane Meek of Gamage Hill, Longhope. James worked as a gardener and emigrated to Canada, arriving in Quebec in 1912. In Souris, Manitoba in 1915 James enlisted to the 27th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry, he was one month short of his 20th birthday,
James was mortally wounded on 16th September 1916 and subsequently died of his wounds.
James' elder brother Edgar was also killed in action on 17th July 1915.
Both men are commemorated on Longhope War Memorial.