Son of Herbert James and Annie Thomas, of Barry, Glamorgan.
Award Citation as published in London Gazette on 8 October 1940:
"Alexia" was torpedoed in convoy and took an immediate list to port with a large hole blown in her side, just above the water-line, and with four tanks badly buckled. The Master opened the valves, and, though she had sunk four feet from the intake of water, he kept his ship on an even keel. The enemy, a submarine, then opened fire. "Alexia's" steering gear jammed but the gunner, finding he thus could not bring the 4-inch gun to bear, manned the 12-pounder at the Master's order and, in spite of the first round bursting just outside the gun, fired two more rounds, regardless of the fact that the ship was being repeatedly hit by enemy fire while he was in an entirely unprotected position. After his third round, the submarine submerged. "Alexia" was later sighted by a British aircraft and next morning was met by tugs. The Master, his Third Engineer and the four other members of the party who by their pluck, determination and entire disregard of danger, undoubtedly saved their ship, acted throughout with a great devotion to duty.