Turner was the director of W. and E. Turner Ltd, the shoe retailer. He was elected to the Town Council as a Liberal in 1898-1905. He served as a member of the City Council Education Committee until 1940, and was Chairman of the Municipal Technical and Art Schools Committee from 1903-1905. He then served on the Colleges of Art and Technology Committee until 1935.
The portrait was modelled by John Morcom, sculpture teacher, in around 1905.