According to his attestation papers dated February 15, 1916 at Mimico, Alfred James of Algoma Road, Mimico was born on May 13, 1881 at Oldbury, Worchestshire, England. He listed his wife Mrs. Nancy James, Algoma Road, Mimico as his next of kin. He was a bricklayer and had no previous military experience. He was 34 years and 9 months of age and stood 5 feet 6 inches tall. He had blue eyes, light brown hair and a fair complexion. He was Methodist.
In the 1914 Toronto City directory he is listed as a brickmaker living on the south side of Algoma Street, Mimico.
He is living in the same location with the same occupation in the 1921 Toronto City directory.