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James Reginald Colley was born in Wolverhampton in 1895, the son of Isaiah and Ada Emma Colley (nee Blackford). On the 1901 census, the family are living at 23 Middle Vauxhall, Tettenhall, and James appears with his younger brother Isaiah and sister Florence.

Before the war, James worked for Mander Brothers Ltd. He enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps (1/3 North Midland Field Ambulance). He was killed on 27 June 1917, and is commemorated at the Loos British Cemetery in France. More locally, he is commemorated on the Compton Road memorial, the Cable Street Mills memorial, the Royal Army Medical Corps memorial in St Peter’s Church and, of course, the Mander Brothers memorial.