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Arthur Edwards was born on 8 May 1896 in Wolverhampton, the son of Charles and Margaret Edwards. In 1901, they were living at 47 Charlotte Street, together with Arthur’s unnamed sister who was a day old, his grandmother Margaret White, his uncle Eli White, and a visitor, Catherine Burwood. By 1911 they had moved to 24 South Street, and Arthur and his parents are joined by his three sisters Leah Margaret, Francis Eliza and Elsey Selma, and a brother Richard William. The household is also joined by five boarders, a servant (Mary Alice Elstab), and Arthur’s grandmother, Margaret White. By this date, Arthur is a riveter in a shipyard.

On 8 May 1914 Arthur enlisted in the Royal Navy (number J19667) and served on numerous ships throughout the war. He was eventually discharged in November 1926. Whether or not he got married is unclear.