Edward was born early 1894 in Barnton and was the fifth of seven children to Thomas and Hannah Astbury. His father had been born in Barnton around 1862 and worked as an engine driver. His mother had been born in Preston Brook around 1861. All the children were born in Barnton: John around 1886, Helena Mary, around 1888, and Sarah, around 1890 and Hannah around 1892. In 1891 the family were living at Stanley Mount, Barnton but by 1901 they were at 90 Lydyett Lane. Two more children followed Edward, Alice Norman born on the 29th November 1897 and Thomas Norman around 1900.
By 1906 the family were living at one of the canal-side cottages at Preston Brook as Edward’s sister Alice was admitted to Daresbury School on the 20th August 1906. His brother Thomas followed on 10th August 1908. By 1911 only three of the children were now at home (Edward, Alice and Thomas) with Thomas and Hannah.
His father, then aged 49, was an engine driver on one of the steam tugs on the canal, whilst Edward was a farm labourer. Farm labourers frequently started work at 4am and went on until 7pm. His sister Sarah was married on the 12th July 1913 at Daresbury Church.
Edward then went to work at Randall Brothers, a firm of tanners in Warrington. He also moved to 22 Clegg Street in Warrington.
On the 3rd March 1915 his brother, John, married Mary Elizabeth Hodgkinson from Newton.
In October 1915, he enlisted with the 3rd/4th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment (regimental number 201868), and went on Active Service in March 1916. In August 1917, Edward was gassed and went to a hospital in Bristol to recover (possibly Southmead Hospital, where other injured troops were sent).
The 1918 Electoral Roll shows him as being an absent voter from his parents house in Preston Brook. For his war service, Edward was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. After the war, Edward returned to Preston Brook and went back to the tanning industry. On the 5th April 1926 he married Kathleen Prince at Daresbury Church. Edward died in 1975, possibly in Brighton.