Born in 1890 in Stanstead Abbotts to parents Mary and James, he had three brothers and two sisters. In 1891 they were living in Roydon Road, Stanstead Abbotts, and his father was working as a malt maker. By 1901 his father had died, and his mother was working as a dairymaid. In 1911 Frederick had moved away and was working as a gardener at Pabo Nursery in Conway, North Wales. At the outbreak of war he was living at 2 Carew Road, Hampton, Middlesex.