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Frederick House

Fred House
Rowers oars.jpg
England 1919. Fred House is the third rower from the left. Photo from Archibald Robb's album.

A fine oarsman

Fred House was one of the finest oarsmen produced in Tasmania and maintained an active interest in the sport throughout his life.  It is said he almost certainly would have been stroke of the Australian eight for the Olympic Games in 1916 had World War One not intervened.

Fred House was stroke for the Tasmanian crew in 1913 and 1920, and stroke for several championship crews with the Derwent Rowing Club, until he retired from rowing in 1921.

Rowing was not the only sport in which Fred House demonstrated his talent.  In 1909 he won the State amateur middleweight championship.  The same year he was defeated on points in the Australian welterweight championship in Sydney.

During World War One Lieutenant House served at Gallipoli and in France where he was badly gassed.

Despite living with rationed supplies during the war, Lieutenant House was very thoughtful and sent some of his pay home to his mother.

After the war, Lieutenant House and another Tasmanian soldier, Sergeant Archibald Robb, were selected to row against top crews from nearly all the Allied nations in the Royal Henley Peace Regatta in England on 5 July 1919.

Once home in Tasmania, Fred House would catch the ferry to Rosny each day to practice golf.  The practice paid off as he won the AIF golf tournament.  Fred also enjoyed fly fishing.

Fred House married Ruby Miller on 22 May 1920.

Fred House enlisted in the army in World War Two on 31 August 1941and was discharged with on 3 December 1946. His rank was Captain.  Captain House’s sons also enlisted in World War Two:

  • Roderic House (also a rower) was a warrant officer from 11 August 1942 to 20 September 1945.
  • Graeme House served in the army from 27 February 1942 until 11 June 1942 with the rank of signalman. On 19 June 1942 he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force and was discharged on 7 December 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer.  Following service with the RAAF in Australian, Graeme was posted to the United Kingdom where he was attached to the Royal Air Force Bomber Command and completed an operation tour of 33 bombing raids over occupied Europe and Germany in Lancaster Bombers.  After the war he returned to Tasmania.

Frederick House died on 21 September 1973 at the Repatriation General Hospital in Hobart.


  • Helen Gay (Archibald Robb’s granddaughter)
  • Bruce House
  • Heather Kelly
  • Rowing Tasmania
  • Robin Poke, Sports Historian
  • Bruce House and Heather Kelly