On the eve of his departure for Australia in 1882, James was married to Alice by General William Booth. They were both promoted to the rank of major.
In January 1888, James Barker was specially authorised as a person able to apprehend a child according to s.21 of the Neglected Children's Act 1887. (Victoria Government Gazette, 6 January 1888, p.9)
In February 1889, James Baker (described as 'superintendent of the Salvation Army Prison Gate and Rescue Work') was approved under s.62 of the Act as a person to whose care 'neglected' children may be committed.