Born at Brighouse in 1886, James was the eldest son and one of the twelve children of James and Ann Crowley. His mother was also from Ireland. and also originally from Ireland, the Crowley’s had moved to Luddington in the 1860’s where James Snr was born. The family returned to Luddington in the early 1890’s where James Snr worked as a gardener and agricultural labourer. In 1901 they were lodging with James’ aunt on the High Street.
In the early 1900’s the family moved to Goole where James Snr worked on the docks.
His service number indicates that James was most likely a regular soldier prior to the outbreak of the war. He enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery at Pontefract possibly in the mid 1900’s. He arrived in France on 1st March 1915 and at some point in his service, joined 49th Battery of 40th Brigade RFA, who had been one of the first artillery units to see service with the BEF in France in August 1914.
40th Brigade were attached to 3rd Infantry Division and in May 1917 they were supporting the Division in the Arras area as they engaged the Germans in the three Battles of the Scarpe River. On 12th May 1917 the brigade were in the region around Guemappe, when James Crowley was one of four men of his battery to loose his life, most likely as a result of enemy artillery action
James has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
James is also remembered on the Goole War Memorial.