Edwin Gidney was born at Jarrow-on-Tyne on the 23rd December 1873, the son of Charles Gidney and Isabella (nee Allison) who were married in 1874 in Durham, South Shields.
 
His mother Isabella was a widow in 1873. She had married James Aitchison in 1860 and had three children, Mary, William and Isabella.
 
Isabella died in 1879, aged forty, leaving Charles Gidney with two children and three step-schildren.
 
1881 Census - 69 Croft Terrace, Hedworth and Monkton and Jarrow – Charles Gidney, (Widower) with children Albert and Edwin Gidney and stepschildren Mary Aitchison (Gidney), William Aitchision (Gidney) and Isabella Aitchison (Gidney).
 
1891 Census - 71 Croft Terrace, Hedworth, Monkton & Jarrow - Charles Gidney (widower) with his sons Albert, Edwin and his step daughter Mary Aitchison who was keeping house for the family
 
Mary Aitchison married Jonathan Tarn  at South Shields in 1891.
 
The Tarn family - Jonathan and Mary Tarn with children Mildred, Mark and Nora - were living at 28 Pine Street, Jarrow, in 1901. Mary's brother William Aitchison and her half-brother, Edward Gidney, who were both ship's engineers, were boarding with them.
 
By 1911 the Tarns - Jonathan Tarn and wife Mary with children Mildred E, Mark A, Norah I, Ada R. - had moved to 16 Hornby Road, Bootle. Edward Gidney who was unmarried and working as a refrigeration engineer at a coldmeat stores was still making his home with them
H.M.S. Empress of Russia (pictured right in the Red Sea) saw service in the Philippines, in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea (December 1914 until October 1915). After a brief return to civilian service she was requisitioned again in 1918 to transport America troops to Europe.
 
De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour (volume one, page 151) contains the following biography.
 
GIDNEY, EDWIN, Engineer Sub-Lieut., H.M.S. Empress of Russia, R.N.R., s. of Charles Gidney, of Jarrow-on-Tyne, Builder, by his wife, Isabella, dau. of William Allison, of Sunderland, Engineer; b. Jarrow, 23 Dec. 1873; educ. Higher Grade School there; and served his apprenticeship at Messrs. Palmer’s Engineering and Shipbuilding Works, where he was highly esteemed and gained considerable experience in destroyers and torpedo boats. He was afterwards a Marine Engineer, and was latterly employed by the C.P.R. After the outbreak of war he was appointed to H.M. Armed Merchant Cruiser Empress of Russia, and died on her, 10 June, 1915, from syncope, following wounds received in action while serving in the Persian Gulf; unm. He was buried at sea with full na.val honours.
 
Probate of his estate was obtained at Liverpool by his sister Mary Tarn, wife of John Tarn. His effects were valued at £115 7s 3d  (£11,000 at current values.)
 
Edwin's nephew Mark Aitchison Tarn died in Greece in August 1915 whilst serving aboard H.M.S. Aquarius.