Born to Robert Bousfield, a farmer, and Jane Watson. One of his brothers was killed in the war a month before Edward.
Married Elizabeth Alice Dent in 1905. The 1911 census lists him as living in Laneside, Middleton-In-Teesdale, with his wife and stepson Anthony Cleasby Lowson.
He was working at a local whinstone quarry before the war and was one of the first in the district to join up. He enlisted in Barnard Castle and was initially based in the in the 15th Battalion, DLI, before serving with the Tank Corps.
He fought in the Battle of Loos and was wounded on 1st July 1916 in the Somme but later returned to service.