Edwin was born in 1837, the son of coachbuilder Robert and his wife Sarah. The family lived in Longacre, London.
Edwin arrived in New Zealand in the 1850s and at first he undertook hotelkeeping with his brother Albert. He was then appointed the first station master at Kaiapoi in 1872. The railway was controversial locally as the merchants had built up their trade on shipping and had put money into shares and sheds. He was then moved to Rangiora when it became the terminus.
In 1873 he married Sarah Amelia Tribe at St Luke’s church, Christchurch. Sarah was born in St Pancras, London and the daughter of Charles Tribe, then a journeyman upholsterer.
Edwin was then station master at Ashburton until 1878. On his departure he was presented with a purse containing 90 sovereigns as a mark of esteem. “The public had always received from Mr Silk the greatest courtesy”.
Mr and Mrs Silk then moved to Wellington where Edwin commenced work for Shaw, Savill & Albion. At first they lived in Majoribanks Street, then Austin Terrace before retiring to Jubilee Road, Khandallah.
Edwin had written his Will in 1875 and left the whole of his estate to his wife, but perhaps due to the fact they were about to travel and as they had no children, Edwin prepared a codicil to his Will in 1907 stating that should his wife predecease him then his property was to be divided among his Tribe in-laws and their descendants. The couple went to Europe in 1907, returning in 1908. Edwin died suddenly the same year, aged 72.
Sarah lived in Jubilee Road and died in 1933, aged 82.
[some information in this of story was supplied from the Macdonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biography project 1952-1964]
Plot Ch Eng/K/69