According to his attestation papers dated April 16, 1915 at Hamilton, James Edward Cochrane was born on August 10, 1885 at Thamesford, Ontario. He listed his wife S.E. Cochrane, Mimico as his next of kin. He was a machine operator and was an active member of the 36th Peel Regiment. He was 30 years and 8 months of age and stood 5 feet 9 inches tall. He had blue eyes, fair hair and complexion. He had a maple leaf tatoo on his right forearm. He was a Methodist.
According to the 1911 census he was living on Heman Street with his wife Sarah, daughter Ethel and son James.
His brothers William and Samuel also enlisted.