I tried again using a licence key and that changed the error message.
No Windows installation screens yet.
I got to the "Press any key to boot" message within VMWare.
STart PXE over IPv4
I then shut down my virtual machine and (based on suggestions I'd read earlier) I deleted my (virtual) floppy drive from the VM hardware.
I then restarted my machine and Windows installed normally on my VM.
I hope this saves somebody some time.
Forget about the easy install that works well e.g. for Ubuntu.
We will be using the CD ROM via the BIOS to launch Windows install.
1 Creating a new machine
Work your way through the New Virtual Machine wizard,
Select "I will install the operating system later"
Guest OS select Microsoft Windows
Name of virtual machine - give it a name
Specify disk capacity - complete as required
Select the CD/DVD
Device status connected at power on - ticked
Use ISO image file (browse to location of Windows 2016 ISO image)
Finish the wizard
The image is now switched off
2 We will now power on the machine.
Then wait for the BIOS/Firmware (Boot Manager) to startup
To save a few seconds you may find VM, Power menu, Power on to Firmware
Within the Boot Manager select the CD Rom drive
The screen will say press any key
The in a few seconds the Windows logo will display on a black screen and Windows will start the install