John was the son of James Lewis Ancham and Edith Emily Ancham, of Rock Cottage, Montgomery. Both his parents are buried in St Nicholas Churchyard, Montgomery. John was married, to Violet Ancham from Newtonlands, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Corporal James Ancham died in the last days of the war, on the 13th of April 1945, fighting on German soil, aged 24. No details of his war record were available, and it was not possible to discover why he enlisted with the Hampshire regiment. He is buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery.
The site of Becklingen War Cemetery was chosen for its position on a hillside overlooking Luneburg Heath. Luneburg Heath was where, on 4 May 1945, Field-Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender from Admiral Doenitz.
Burials were brought into the cemetery from isolated sites in the countryside, small German cemeteries and prisoner of war camps cemeteries, within a radius of about 80 kilometres. Most of those buried in the cemetery died during the last two months of the war.
Becklingen War Cemetery contains 2,374 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 97 of them unidentified. There are also 27 war graves of other nationalities, many of them Polish.