He was the only son of Reverand C Pettler, who became the Methodist minister in Middleton-in-Teesdale. Growing up, Edwin lived with his parents and two sisters, Lily and Gertrude at the Manse in Middleton-in-Teesdale.
Edwin studied theology at Elmfield college. He emigrated to Canada aboard the ship 'The Alsation' in march 1914, settling in Saskatoon where he worked as a farmer and lay preacher.
He enlisted with the 46th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment) on 6th November 1915, joining the scout section.
The Teesdale Mercury describes a visit home he made to his parents in Middleton in July 2016.