James was born in Waterside, Londonderry. He had five brothers and a sister. Three of the brothers James, Monty and Ted joined the regiment.

Cpl J Colhoun
Cpl J Colhoun

James joined the regiment in 1961. He left the army and settled back into civilian life but with little work in Ireland, Jim moved to Birmingham and soon met and married Lily.

Jim rejoined the QRIH in 1967 and went to live in quarters in Germany where the Regiment was stationed. During this time the family lived in Memel Strasse, Sennelagar. Lily and Jim had five children.

His time in the regiment was spent serving in, amongst others, Malaya, South Africa, Canada and Cyprus. Finally leaving the regiment in 1976 he settled back in Birmingham.

Sadly the loss of their youngest child at the tender age of 12 years placed a great strain on the marriage and they separated in 1991. Lily passed away in 2001.

After leaving the Army Jim worked for some years at British Leyland and then moved on to GKN. He met Barbara, and they set up a home together and lived happily in Birmingham for 10 years.

During this time they attended many regimental reunions in Eastbourne, London, Germany and Catterick and were often seen at the remembrance weekend in Birmingham. The last time was 2009. Jim was also on parade in Birmingham at the 50th Anniversary of VJ-Day.

In the mid-90s both Barbara and Jim were on the committee of the Old Comrades, Birmingham Troop. Barbara was forced to retire on health grounds and they decided to move from city life to a small village in South Wales.

They soon settled into village life, they were a devoted couple who became respected by members of the local community. This was borne out by the numbers of people from the village who lined the main street when the funeral cortege passed.

James died on the 6th of Augest 2010.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  2. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64