Edgar was educated at Wanganui after his family emigrated from North East England. In 1936 he paid his passage to the UK and was apprenticed to Elder Demptser Company. He continued with that company after gaining his second mates certificate and was mainly employed on the North Atlantic during the war. He returned to New Zealand after the war serving with Holm and Company and the Union Steam Ship Company. During this time he obtained his Master’s and Extra Master’s Certificates. In 1952 he joined the New Zealand Marine Department as a surveyor and 4 years later was appointed an Examiner of Masters and Mates. In the next 10 years he was also involved with a number of marine inquiries. Under the Colombo Plan he was seconded to the Singapore Marine Department before returning to New Zealand in 1971 as Nautical Advisor to the Marine Department. He retired in 1985.