James was the only child of Dr James J. Robertson, described as ”a very caring and popular doctor.”, who lived, and practised at Oakfield House, Montgomery. James was born in December 1898, and raised and originally educated in Montgomery, first at the local Montgomery Church in Wales primary school before being privately tutored by the Rev. H. Rollason, (vicar of St Nicholas Church), and then completing his education at Murchison College, Edinburgh. His father was already a widower by 1901, when James was 3, and in 1903 he re-married, however, James Snr died in Scotland in 1911, when James was still only 14; and James is described on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site as being the Foster son of Mrs Margaret Ewen of Edinburgh.
The picture above is taken from the County Times dated the 11th of July 1917, which reported: “He joined up a few days following his 18th birthday, in December 1916, and was granted a commission in the H.L.I. - (Highland Light Infantry), - moving out to France in January 1917, he was critically wounded five months later. His uncle, a solicitor in Edinburgh, Mr John Robertson, W.S. (Writer to the Syndicate) of 15 Morningside Place, Edinburgh was informed of the injuries suffered by 2nd Lt Robertson and immediately journeyed out to France where he was able to visit his nephew in hospital before his death. NB The suffix WS is not as stated in the County Times, Writer to the Syndicate, but Writer to the Signet, a society of lawyers which to this day still manages a specialist law library, the Signet Library in Edinburgh. 2nd Lieutenant Robertson was injured in a bomb explosion on or about the 26th June, and was taken to hospital but died of his wounds 13 days later on the 9th July 1917. He is buried at Etretat Churchyard Extension, together with 262 other British men, and four German casualties. The original instruction for the lettering on the grave, shows the wording Mrs Ewen had chosen, and the informal nature of the wording shows they must have been very close.
She requested the grave be inscribed: Au revoir Jim, one more to welcome me when I cross the bar M.E.