James Newall Leyland was born in West Derby, Lancashire, on 4th September 1879. He was the son of James Leyland (born Newburgh, near Ormskirk in Lancashire) and his wife Emma (nee Newall) who was born in Salford.
In 1881 the family were living in Davyhulme, Barton-upon-Irwell, Manchester and James had two siblings, Richard (9) and Ann (7).His father was a teamsman/ carter, a driver of a pack of farm animals.
Ten years later James was at school and living at 19, New Lane, Barton-upon-Irwell, Eccles with his parents and his siblings which now included Mary (9). His father was now a greengrocer.
By 1901, James was working as a shoeing smith and the family had moved to 72a, Cromwell Road in Patricroft near Eccles. All the children still lived at home and his father was a retired grocer.
The 1911 Census showed James, his brother and his sister all living at 1, Green Bank Street in the Wilderspool area of Warrington and both men working as insurance agents.
He married the widowed landlady of The Hatton Arms in Hatton in early 1912. She was Lavinia Kirkham, widow of John Kirkham and was 20 years older than James.
James enlisted on 12 December 1915 and served with the Royal Army Service Corps as a driver. He served overseas. In the electoral roll for 1918 he was recorded as an absent voter with service number 4851-5100, but he was also recorded elsewhere as T4/235487. He was discharged due to sickness on 20th February 1919 and appeared again on the electoral roll as a resident in Hatton. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
He continued to live with Lavinia at the Hatton Arms on Goose Lane and was recorded on the 1939 Register as a retired insurance agent. He died in June 1947 at the age of 67 years, Lavinia having died in 1943.