Fred French was born in Launceston on 8 May 1869, the sixth of 12 children of James French (1833-1928) and Sarah Bushby (1835-1902) who married on 6 Dec 1856. His siblings were: George James born 1857; Alpha 1859; Sarah Alice 1861; Mary 1863; Frank Baker 1865; Grace 1867; James 1871; Henry 1874; Theodora Clyne 1876; Thomas 1878; and Claude 1881.
Fred attended a school run by Thomas Hogg at 4 Elizabeth Street, Launceston. He studied at the Sydney Technical College, and in 1897 joined his brother Frank in the firm French Bros., Painters and Decorators, of Paterson Street, originally established by their father in 1855. Fred was initiated into the Lodge of Perfect Unanimity in Jul 1896, but transferred to St Andrew's Lodge in 1910. He was also a foundation master of Empire Lodge in 1921-22. On 2 Jun 1897 Fred married Jessie Caroline Lee at the Wesleyan Church at Campbell Town.
In 1910 Fred bought land at Gravelly Beach on the West Tamar, where he established apple orchards and tea rooms. He also had a seaside cottage at Falmouth on the east coast. He retired from the family business in 1924. He donated land in Penquite Road and, after providing for his wife, the residue of his estate was used to establish the Fred French Masonic Nursing Home. It was opened on 4 Aug 1962. Fred had died 16 years earlier on 25 Sep 1946 at his home on the Esplanade at Gravelly Beach. His wife Jessie died 15 Nov 1953. Fred's brothers James and Henry are also in the Album. See The Examiner 23 Dec 2006, page 35.