Frederick was born in Wolverhampton in 1888, the son of Charles and Harriet Short. In 1901 he was living with his parents at 13 Lord Street, Wolverhampton, along with his siblings Mary Gertrude, William and Francis. By 1911, they were at 3 Aston Street, Wolverhampton. Frederick was a printer “out of employ”.
On 26 October 1914, Frederick enlisted in the 7th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (number 15779). Frederick served in France, but died from wounds received in action on 19 July 1917. His personal effects, including a purse, badge, cigarette case and copper coins, were sent to his mother on 13 December 1917. Further items, including a religious book, letters photos and a card, were sent on 15 March 1918. Frederick is buried at the Grevillers British Cemetery. His name is also listed on the Express & Star war memorial, so presumably he worked there at some point.