Edwina Menzies was born in East Belfast, and her family came from the radical Protestant tradition. Her parents, the late Sadie and Eddie Menzies, were founder-members of the CPI. Edwina was a teacher in Ashfield Girls’ School until she had to leave her job because of her presence on the platform in Derry on Bloody Sunday. She also taught in Comber High School.
Edwina was one of the many eye witnesses who gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry (Saville Inquiry), the results of which were published on 15 June 2010, when the then British prime minster apologised in behalf of the British government acknowledged that paratroopers had fired the first shots on fleeing unarmed civilians. She believed Bloody Sunday had in effect marked the end of the civil rights movement, because people began joining the Provisional IRA in droves.
Edwina was married to the late Jimmy Stewart, also a teacher on the Shankill Road and later general secretary and chairperson of the CPI. They leave behind two daughters, Helen and Moya, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as sisters and a wider family.