Born in Hastings, the son of a doctor, Fred Hale studied painting in Paris (1873-5) under Cabanel and Carolus Duran. Working for the Illustrated London News, he was a war artist covering from the Russian side, the progress of the Russo-Turkish war. Following that assignment he travelled around Britain painting landscapes, classical and mythological subjects, not unlike those of ALMA-TADEMA in style. At some point (though known in no detail) he painted watery scenes in Cornwall. Otherwise his paintings seem to reveal war scenes and military life.
He settled in London and then from 1897 in Godalming, Surrey, exhibiting mainly with the ROI after WWI.