Frederick George Packman was born on 5 June 1889 in Essex, England, to Edward and Elizabeth Packman. His father died in the early 1890s, and his mother married William Fenton in 1896, taking his last name. In 1913 Frederick Packman sailed from Liverpool, England, to New South Wales as a seaman aboard the SS Norseman. In May 1916 when he enlisted for Home Service he listed his occupation as cook. His time in the Home Service was short; in September he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and on 9 November 1916 he embarked for Devonport, England, on the HMAT Benalla.
While stationed at Dunnington, Salisbury, Packman married Ida Dorothy Wiles, a hospital nurse from London; he then received training at the School of Cookery at Sidmouth. Following his training, Packman served in France with both the 37th and 39th Battalions. After the Armistice in November 1918, Packman was transferred to the Australian Army Medical Corps and stationed at the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital until his discharge in July 1920. During his time at the 1ADH his son Stanley was born, and following Packman’s discharge he and his family embarked for Sydney on SS Wahehe.
It was during this return voyage that Packman took part in a concert in aid of funds for the Royal Merchant Seaman’s Orphanage, performing “The Hills of Donegal” and “The Battle Eve”.
Though Packman and his family spent the next few years moving around, to Canada and then New York, by 1939 he had returned to London, working as a Royal Artillery Ordnance Storeman. He lived in London for the rest of his life, dying in 1965 at the age of 76.