Private James Hawshaw was born in the Parish of Barnham, Chichester and enlisted in the Rifle Brigade in December 1842, aged 22 years. Posted to the 1st Battalion, his subsequent career of 21 years with the Colours incorporated one year in the Ionian Islands, five years in the Cape of Good Hope and nearly two years in the Crimea. The latter services included participation in the Battles of the Alma and Inkermann, when Hawshaw acted as Personal Servant to Brigadier-General Buller. Finally discharged at Winchester in June 1864, he was the recipient of the L.S. and G.C. Medal.