James Donnelly was the son of Owen and Mary Donnelly. He was born about 1888. The family lived in Altaglushan, Clonavaddy, Pomeroy. James emigrated to Canada. James Donnelly went on to become the chief engineer of the Hudson`s Bay Store in Calgary, Alberta. On a visit home to Tyrone in December 1914, James Donnelly enlisted as an Engine Room Artificer with the Navy. He was sent to one of the battleships of the fleet in the Irish Sea. Whilst serving, James Donnelly contracted spinal meningitis. Engine Room Artificer James Donnelly died of cerebro-spinal meningitis on 19th May 1915 in the Royal Navy Hospital at Chatham, England.
There is a large naval section in Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery which was reserved by the Admiralty and served the Royal Naval Hospital in Windmill Road. The section contains most of the war graves as well as burials of the pre-war and inter-war years.