Edward Skinner was born in Gosport, Hampshire, England in late 1871. He was the son of Thomas Skinner (1834-1912), a shipwright, and Jane King (1836-1923). Both his parents were natives of Chichester, Sussex and had married on the Isle of Wight in 1856.
Edward was one of nine children, six of whom survived infancy. His known siblings were: Ellen Maria (b. 1857), William (b. 1860), Alice (b. 1864), Kate (b. 1866), Frederick (b. 1869) and Charles (b. 1875).
On the 1871 census, taken just months prior to Edward's birth, his parents were living at 5 Burnham's Alley, North Street, Gosport. He and his family would be listed at this address on all census records through to 1911.
By the time of the 1891 census a 19-year-old Edward was described as an ironmonger's apprentice. Sometime thereafter he went to sea and was described on the 1901 census as a yacht steward. Only he and his eldest sibling Ellen were still living with their parents by the time of the 1911 census, both still unmarried. Edward was still described as a ship's steward.
Edward was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as The Criterion, Oxford Street, (Southampton). As a first class saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. His last ship had been the Olympic.
Skinner died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Hard on the heels of Edward's death came the death of his father Thomas only a few months later aged 78. His widowed mother Jane and spinster sister Ellen benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund as Class G dependents. Jane Skinner died in Gosport in 1923 aged 87. His sister Ellen died aged 70 in 1927.