Per his military service record (regimental no. 4847), James Maher was born at Gilgandra, N.S.W. He gave his age as 18 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as farm labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 inches, weight 136 lbs., with a medium complexion, grey eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed to have 7 months previous experience with the Gilgandra Rifle Club. He completed his medical, and was attested, on the 14th October 1915 at Dubbo, which was the day the Co-ees left Dubbo on the Coo-ee March.
His official date of joining the AIF in his service record is the 14th October 1915. James “Jim” Maher is however known as one of the 35 recruits from Gilgandra – one of those who caught up along the way.
There is an ‘Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force’ document in his military service record which is signed by both his father John Maher, and his mother Georgina Ellen Maher, giving parental permission for him to join, as he was under the age of 21.
It is unclear whether he left Dubbo with the Coo-ees, or did not catch up with the Coo-ees until further down the march route, as per family stories he did not join the Coo-ee March until Wallerawang .
After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.
On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Springfield, Gilgandra, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, J. Maher, Springfield, Gilgandra, N.S.W.
Along with many of the Coo-ees, Private Maher departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England on the 8th March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 20th May 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion.
On 2nd June 1916 Private Maher left Alexandria aboard the Transport Kinafanus Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 8th June 1916.
On the 4th January 1917 Private Maher was appointed Lance Corporal, when the Battalion was at Dernacourt, France.
On the 2rd February 1917 the Battalion was being relieved from the front line near Guedecourt. Lance Corporal Maher was one of 10 members of the Battalion wounded on this day, with another 5 men were killed. Lance Corporal Maher received a shrapnel wound to his buttock and ankle. He was hospitalised and evacuated to England.
On the 16th December 1917 Lance Corporal Maher began his return to Australia, departing England on board the Hospital Ship No 2. He arrived in Australia on the 16th February 1917, and was discharged on the 10th July 1918.
 Leo, L., email correspondence, 31st July 2014.