Edward John Burton was born in St Denys, Hampshire, England in 1877 and his birth was registered in the first quarter of that year. He was the son of Charles Burton (b. 1850) and Elizabeth Beacham (b. 1852), Hampshire-natives who had married in 1872. He had two known siblings, William Charles (b. 1874) and Elizabeth Mary (b. 1875).
On the 1881 census Edward and his family are recorded at Baytree Cottage, Millbrook, Hampshire and his father was recorded as a tin worker. The family have relocated to 30 Southampton Street, All Saints, Southampton by the time of the 1891 census. What became of Edward's parents is not clear although his mother may have passed away around 1896 and Edward is absent from the subsequent 1901 and 1911 census reports.
When Edward signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 24 Chapel Street, Southampton (the home of a Mr and Mrs Walter Biddlecombe and their family) and his previous ship as the Atrato. As a fireman he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6.
Edward Burton, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.