Eric Rees was born in Rock Ferry, Cheshire, England on 5 February 1887 and baptised in Bickerton on 5 August 1888. He was the son of Charles Henry Rees, a coal merchant, and Emily Edge, natives of Cheshire. He had two elder sisters, Gertrude and Ethel. By 1912 he lived at 183 New Ferry Road, New Ferry with his widowed mother and sister Ethel.
Rees went to sea as a young man and in March 1908 required his Second Mate Certificate of Competency, followed by First Mate in September the following year and his Master’s Certificate in July 1911. In 1904 in had joined the Royal Naval Reserve.
In April 1912 Rees was serving as Third Officer aboard the eastward-bound voyage of the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic.
Following the Titanic Rees continued to work at sea and served during WWi with both the merchant and naval fleets; in 1916 he married Doris Taylor (b. 1894).
In 1937, after a twenty-four-year service with the Royal Naval Reserve, Rees retired at the rank of Captain and made his home in Birkdale, Cheshire.
He later returned to sea and served during WWII and in Admiralty dispatches it was stated that he was lost presumed missing whilst serving at HMS Eaglet. The exact circumstances are unclear. HMS Eaglet was a shore station or depot ship rather than a vessel on active duty.
According to Commonwealth War Graves, Commodore Eric Rees, DSC, RD, RNR, died on 16 April 1942 at the age of 55. He is commemorated on the Liverpool Naval Memorial (panel 1, column 1).