Private James Huxley (1874-1949) was born at Norton, the second of eight children of Edmund and Mary Huxley; his family moved to Wickhamford in about 1884. By the time his youngest sister, Rose Ellen, was baptized at Wickhamford in October 1890, his parents had separated as the baptismal register said, “married woman living apart from her husband”.
At the time of the 1891 and 1901 census, James was working as an agricultural labourer and living in Wickhamford, but not in the family home. In 1891 he was lodging at the cottage known today as Robin Cottage and in 1901 at 6 Longdon Hill. His mother had a new partner, Richard Hardiman, whom she lived with in a cottage near the Manor House. Two half-brothers, Richard Hardiman Huxley and Albert Huxley, both of whom served in the Great War (the latter losing his life and who is listed on the Badsey war memorial), were born in 1892 and 1896 respectively. By 1911 James was living with his family at Bowers Hill, Badsey.
On enlistment in the 6th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment (No. 21185) on 13th January 1915 falsely claimed to be 36 years of age (he was 41) and a farmer from Badsey. A medical report of 9th April 1915 concluded that, due to rheumatoid arthritis, he was unlikely to become an efficient soldier. He was discharged from the Army on the 24th April 1915 after only 3 months’ service. In addition to his two half-brothers who enlisted, his brother, Frederick George Huxley, also joined up.
When the Register of September 1939 was drawn up James Huxley, who was unmarried, was back in Wickhamford working as a market gardener’s labourer and living with the family of George Sutton at 11 Pitchers Hill (now 95 Pitchers Hill).