Fred was born in Heaton Norris, the son of Margaret and the late William Holt, 45 Oxford Street. He was a keen footballer as a boy. When older, he went to work for Faulder & Co at the company's cocoa works on Didsbury Road.
He was a member of the "SSS Brotherhood" although it is uncertain if this is a reference to the Stockport Sunday School or the national Socialist Sunday School movement. Fred enlisted on 3 September 1914 and went to the front in September the following year. Two of his brothers also served.
On 4 May 1916, Fred and his mates were in trenches near Mont-St-Eloi, a small village a few kilometres north of the French town of Arras. The Battalion's War Diary records "Slight bombing activity in outpost line during the early morning for about and hour, 2am - 3am. Small aerial torpedoes were used by the enemy for between two or three hours during morning and afternoon, though effect of these is very local, we unfortunately had five casualties."
Fred was one of the casualties. He would have received attention from the Battalion's medical officer before being evacuated approximately 8 kilometres behind the front line to a Casualty Clearing Station at Aubigny-en-Artois. There, military surgeons would have done all they could to save his life, but without success. Charles Horbury had also been fatally wounded and, during the day, Sergeant William Ashton had been killed.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission which maintains Aubigny Cemetery wrongly records Fred's date of death as 4 May 1915. This cannot be accurate as the Battalion did not arrive in France until the September.