Connor was born on 11 February 1846 at Blean, Kent; his parents were Alexander and Naomi Connor. Connor joined the Royal Navy (RN) in 1861 at the age of 15 years as a Master’s Assistant, became a 2nd Master in 1866, and a Navigating Lieutenant in September 1872. From 1864 to 1879 he was engaged in the hydrographic service in the Mediterranean, the Channel, the Straits of Magellan and Qld.
An obituary in The Adelaide Advertiser of 3 January 1903 reports that Edward served “two years of detached service on the east coast of Africa suppressing the slave trade. He was severely wounded in an engagement with the natives of Terra del Fuego, when an attack was made on the boats of HMS Nassau”. His RN record shows that he served on the HMS Nassau from April 1866 to August 1869. Between 1870 and 1879 he served on HMS Clio, HMS Pearl and HMS Wolverene surveying the Queensland coast. In 1874 he was written up in his RN record for his “zeal and ability in surveying Torres Strait”.
He was appointed in 1878 to a commission to advise on improvements to the navigation of the northern entrance to Moreton Bay.
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