James Cannavin was born in Chorlton on 5 May 1870. From 1889 until 1901 he served with the South Staffordshire Regiment in Gibraltar, Egypt and South Africa. He married Maria Carter on 24 December 1902. By 1911, the couple were living at 26 Bridge Street, Portobello, Wolverhampton, along with their children Thomas, Ada, Jonathan and Harriet. James was a bricklayer.
Thomas was born in Altrincham, Cheshire, in 1897, and appears to have been James’s son by his previous wife, Theodosia (nee Taylor), who died in 1901.
On 13 August 1914, James enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 10129), at the age of 44. He was transferred to the Notts and Derby Regiment in 1915, and served in Egypt until he was discharged on 29 July 1919. He promptly reenlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment, and later served with the Hampshire Regiment, before being discharged again on 14 May 1920.
Thomas enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards (number 16701). Unfortunately he was killed in action on 24 March 1915. He is remembered at the Le Touret memorial.
By 1939, James was living at 26 Crown Street, Willenhall, and was a pensioner. He died in 1948 in Bilston at the age of 78. Both men are remembered on the Portobello war memorial.