James Dobing was born to Christopher and Elizabeth and raised in Keiraville. He attended Keiraville Public and lived with his parents at Parson St, Zlotkowski via Wollongong.
He was a wheeler prior to enlistment.
James enlisted on 19 January, 1916. He enlisted with and joined the same battalion as Matthew Tubman: 36th Battalion, Infantry. They were both embarked on 5 July, 1916 from Sydney upon HMAT Ajana 31. James, along with Matthew was subsequently killed in action on 22 January 1917.
According to the Australian War Memorial, James was only 24 at his death. He is buried at the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery.
An obituary was subsequently posted in the Illawarra Mercury:
Memorial Service- A largely attended and impressive service was conducted in the Keiraville Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon in connection with the death of Privates Mat Tubman and James Dobing. The Honour Roll, on which the names of the two heroes are inscribed, was draped in black. The Rev. F. Duesbury’s remarks were appropriate to the occasion and special hymns were rendered by the choir. The member of the Glen Wollongong Druid’s Lodge, of which Private Tubman was assistant secretary, were present in regalia.
 Australian War Memorial, First World War Embarkation Rolls – James Dobing, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/nominal_rolls/first_world_war_embarkation/person/R1987134>, viewed 29 January 2014.
 Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour – James Dobing, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, < http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/roll_of_honour/person/R1725619/>, viewed 29 January 2014.
 ‘Roll of Honor,’ Illawarra Mercury, 9 February 1917, p. 2.
 ‘Keiraville,’ Illawarra Mercury, 23 February 1917, p. 2.
NAA: B2455, DOBING J