Son of Mr Lionel C. R. Thring, M.A. J.P. First Headmaster of Dunstable Grammar School, and Mrs Jessie Margaret Thring. Edward was born in Dunstable, as were his sisters Marion and Elsie Thring; he was a keen and capable sportsmen and an old pupil of Dunstable Grammar. He won the Hankey Gold Medal for being the pupil who had made best use of his opportunities in life as a Dunstabolian.
Edward joined the Officer Training Corps (O.T.C.) at Berkhampsted, and soon after recieved his commision into the North Midland Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A.).