Edward Mathew Harris was born in Winchester, Hampshire, England in 1895 and his birth was registered in the June quarter of that year. He was the son of Thomas Harris (1860-1938) and Ann Carroll (1863-1911).
His mother was from Dublin and his father from Overton, Hampshire and they had married in 1885 in Winchester, before living in Co Leitrim, Ireland for several years where their first three children were born, before moving back to England and settling in Winchester. They would have seven children in total: Patrick (b. 1886), Thomas Joseph (b. 1887), Frederick (b. 1889), Mary (b. 1894), James (b. 1898), Winifred Annie (b. 1901) and Edward.
Edward first appears on the 1901 census. At that time he and his family are living at 13 Greenhill Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire and his father is described as a grocer's carman. The family are still present at this address for the time of the 1911 census, with Edward's father now described as a night watchman and Edward himself as a pageboy and had reportedly worked on the railways upon leaving school, and later serving on the maiden voyage of the Olympic. Also present at the address at this time was the fiancé of his sister Mary, Michael Rogers, a young man from Dublin who was described as a ship's steward. Edward's mother died later in 1911.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 13 Greenhill Avenue, Winchester. His last ship had been the Olympic. As an assistant pantry steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. Also serving on the Titanic with him was Michael Rogers.
Edward Harris and Michael Rogers both died in the sinking. Their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.