Jim was born on 4th March 1936 into a deep-rooted Presbyterian farming family. He was the only son of James Clark and Helen (Niven) at Kilmany in Fife. He had four sisters Mattie, Susan, Isobel and Betty.
His father would travel long distances to get good prices for his cattle and sheep. On one such journey he came across Edington Mains Farm near Chirnside in Berwickshire and the family moved there in May 1942.
Jim and Betty would walk or cycle to Chirnside School. Agnes Anderson was at Chirnside School with Jim. She remembers him as “a reluctant pupil coming to school in the morning dragging his school bag and his sister Betty telling him to hurry up because they would be late for school.
Jim was good at sport, he had a good sense of balance and was quick and agile. Eric Martin from the village remembers going to Edington Mains to play football with Jim. They would also sledge in the winter and play tennis in the summer. Jim left Chirnside School in 1946 to attend Clifton Hill, a preparatory school near Edinburgh, until 1949. He then moved to Loretto School, Musselburgh, until he left aged 16.