Painter, born in London he studied art at Goldsmiths' College 1931-34 and at the RCA 1935-38 under Barnett Freedman. Married to the artist Frances Macdonald he latterly took to illustrating poems he himself wrote. Appelbee showed at RA, RSA, Arts Council, BC and in small group shows at Wildenstein, 1947 and Fine Art Society in 1968. His picture One-man Band was one of the 60 Paintings for '51 Festival of Britain show.
He had a series of solo shows at Leicester Galleries from 1948 and a notable exhibition at Plymouth City Art Gallery in 1977. Appelbee was a distinctive portrait painter, carrying out commissions for Sir Edward Marsh, Essex County Council, Eton College, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and other clients. He won a silver medal at Paris Salon in 1970. He taught at Bournemouth College of Art and examples of his work are in the collections of AAG, Aberdeen Art Gallery, ACGB, Alfred East Art Gallery, Atkinson Art Gallery, BC, Calderdale Borough Council, Carlisle Art Gallery, GAC, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Herbert Art Gallery, IWM, Kirklees Museums and Galleries, Leamington Spa Art Gallery, Leeds University Collection, Newport Art Gallery, Gwent, Reading Art Gallery, Swindon Art Gallery and the Tate Gallery.