James Crichton was born 15 July 1879 in Carrick Fergus in County Antrim, and moved to Northrigg as a child. The 1891 Census shows James residing at 31 Northrigg. James had lived in the village of Northrigg for several years and was well known for his hearty and cheery ways.
James’s brothers are in order of age, William, married, ex HLI, resided Cowdenbeath; Robert, married, ex Cameron Highlander, invalided from China in 1910, after six years’ service, resided Upper Craig Terrace Blackridge; David, married resided Northrigg, and his only sister Mrs Andrew Marshall, resided Brae Cottage, situated between Northrigg and Armadale.
James had his schooling at Northrigg Public School up to the fourth standard and he finished the higher standards at Blackridge Public School. At age 12 he entered the mines, and mining, soldiering, and travelling had been his principal occupations since.