Edward was born in 1888 in Wolverhampton, the son of William and Jane Purchase. The family were living at 24 Derry Street, Wolverhampton, in 1901, together with Edward’s siblings Bessie, William, Amy, David, George, Jane and Richard.
By 1911, Edward had enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 8386), and was serving in Arabia, Cyprus and Gibraltar. Edward rose to become a Sergeant, but was killed in action on 30 October 1914. An article concerning his death was printed in the Midland Counties Express on 27 February 1915, and the same article reappeared in the same newspaper on 6 March 1915. He is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.