Frederick was born in about 1877 in Barnard Castle to Henry Beer (from Little Chetser, Derbyshire) and Catherine. At the time of the 1891 Census, the family were living in Startforth and by 1901 were living at the Bowes Museum, where Fred's father was the Caretaker. Fred had an older sister and bothers, Frances Hannah, John William and Horace (see separate entry), and younger sisters, Catherine and Rebecca. Frederick's nephew, Henry Edward James Beer, Horace's son, also served in the war (see separate entry)
Fred married Mary Dent Beer, and, by 1911, the couple had a daughter called Kathleen.
Frederick was a Private, Lance Corporal and ?Corporal in the Volunteer Force from 9.3.1893 - 2.4.1908. In April 1908, he joined the Territorial Forces and was promoted to Sergeant. He was 'Embodied' on 5.8.1914 and served in the Home Service in Ripon, Rothbury, Strensell and Scarborough until his demobilisation on 30.1.1919. His army records suggest that he sustained an injury or something of the sort during his military training that required hospitalisation in Newcastle. This may be the reason he spent the war in the Home Service.