Edwin Henry Petty was born in Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England in early 1887 as Edwin Henry Mason.
His exact familial background is currently unclear and he appears to have been adopted from an early age by James Petty (b. 1849) and Susannah Stratton (b. 1856). James and Susannah hailed from East Wellow and Ellingham, Hampshire, respectively, and they were married in Southampton in 1877 but would remain childless.
James, a dock foreman, and Susannah appeared on the 1881 census living at 9 Naseby Road, Millbrook, Hampshire. By the time they appeared on the 1891 census they were living at 21 Princes Road, Millbrook and were listed with a four-year-old adopted child, Edwin. Edwin (erroneously listed as Edward) was still with them on the 1901 census when they were living at 29 Orchard Place, St Mary, Southampton.
Edwin perhaps went to sea at a young age. He was absent from the 1911 census but his adoptive parents were listed as living by now at 25 Orchard Place, Southampton.
Edwin, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body (# 82) was later recovered:
NO. 82 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 27 - HAIR DARK, MOUSTACHE LIGHT
CLOTHING - Dark suit; steward's white coat; white shirt; black button boots.
EFFECTS - Discharge book "A" full up; Edwin Henry Petty, 25 Orchard Place; Gold wedding ring; two bunches keys; purse with 10s 1d; two pocket diaries; number of letters; pencil; two collar studs.
BEDROOM STEWARD - NAME - EDWIN HENRY PETTY
The following death notice appeared in the Southern Daily Echo (6 May 1912):
Petty--Edwin Henry, only son of Mr and Mrs James Petty, 25 Orchard Place. Aged 25.
His adoptive father James later died in 1925. His adoptive mother Susannah was remarried in 1927 to Michael McNamara, a boilermaker. She remained living at 25 Orchard Place in Southampton and died on 1 April 1940 aged 83.