According to his attestation papers dated January 27, 1916 at Mimico, James Henry MacQuarrie, Humber Bay, Ontario was born on May 20, 1897 in Maple, Ontario. He listed his mother Mrs. Sarah MacQuarrie, Humber Bay, Ontario as his next of kin. He was single and a machine hand. He was an active member of the 12th Regiment, York Rangers. He was 18 years and 8 months of age and stood 6 feet 2 inches high. He had grey eyes, fair hair and complexion. He was a Baptist.
According to the 1911 census he was the son of Donald and Sarah MacQuarrie living on Queen Street, Humber Bay. Donald was a brick maker.
In the 1921 Toronto city directory James is listed as a fireman living with Harvey MacQuarrie on the south side of Queen Street, Humber Bay.