His birth certificate only shows the first Christian name ‘James’, and it was not until he was baptised that he was given the name James Jardine Dobie by the Rev Walter Walsh, Minister of Auchtertool.
James Jardine Dobie was the only son of the Reverend William Jardine Dobie, Minister of Kinghorn Parish (Church of Scotland), Fife, and of Margaret Hamilton Veitch his wife.
James entered Rugby school in 1892 and left in 1896. He was in the first XV and Captain in 1896.
At Rugby, he was a keen member of the school Volunteer Corps of which he became Cadet Officer. In 1896, he went up to Oriel College, Oxford, and graduated in 1899, accepting one of the Commissions offered to the University during the South African War.
He was gazetted to the 3rd Hussars in 1900 and served in the South African War, 1901-02, being mentioned in Despatches and reviving the Queen’s Medal with three Clasps. He was promoted to Captain in 1911 and became a prominent polo player.
He married in October 1911 to Antoinette Wilhelmina Laura Jardine Dobie (nee Rouillard), of “Glassmount,” Kirkcaldy, Fife, the youngest daughter of Judge John Rouillard, of Mauritius.
He was on active service from the beginning till almost the end of the Great War, crossing over to France on 17 August 1914, and falling on the field of honour on 30th September 1918.
His war record includes service, in 1914, in the Retreat from Mons, at the Marne, the Aisne, Messines, Wytschaete; 1915, at Ypres; in 1916, at Verneuil, the Somme; in 1917, at Arras, Cambrai; in 1918, at St. Quentin, Amiens, the crossing of the Canal du Nord.
He was wounded three times, at Klein Zillebeke in October 1914, near Vlamertinghe in April 1915, and at Lempire in May 1917. He was mentioned in Dispatches on 31st May 1915, and 7th April 1918, awarded the Military Cross at Moreuil on 31st March 1918 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in the King’s Birthday Honours 3rd June 1918.
He was killed in action near Crevecoeur, south of Cambrai, 30th September 1918, aged 41.
A brother Officer wrote:
“His sound judgment and capable leadership were only equalled by his personal bravery. His men would have followed him anywhere.”
One of his men said:
“Captain Dobie’s death cast a gloom over the whole Regiment, he was so much loved by both Officers and men. No other death in the Regiment could have caused so much sorrow.”