Edward was one of nine children born to Thomas and Caroline Parkinson. His birth was registered at Inverell in 1880. In 1901 he served during the Boer War with the 5th Commonwealth Horse. Edward enlisted for World War 1 Service at Inverell on 10 January 1916, possibly at the large recruiting rally held in Victoria Park on that day. He had previously been rejected due to his teeth.
Having agreed to serve from 1 February 1916, he left Inverell that day with a group of 19 men going to the Narrabri Camp.
Edward became a member of the 36th Battalion, C Company and sailed from Australia on HMAT A72 Beltana in May 1916. After arriving in England further training was undertaken before he was transferred to the 55th Battalion and sent to France in September. He served as a stretcher bearer and was wounded in April 1917 when hit by a shell at Bullecourt. He was evacuated to England and admitted to Bath War Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound to his face and wrist and a broken jaw.
Edward returned home and was discharged in October 1918. He died of illness in 1923 and after a military funeral was buried at Point Clare Roman Catholic Cemetery NSW. The Bushmen and 7th Light Horse provided a guard of honour.
Edward was married and had three children. His brother, Sinclair, served with the 13th Battalion in 1917 and both their names are recorded on the Inverell Honor Roll.