Fritz Robert Jaentsch

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Fritz Robert Jaentsch
Personal Information
Date of Birth 15 Jul 1893
Place of Birth Norwood, Adelaide, South Australia
Death 12 Oct 1917
Place of Death Passchendaele, Belgium
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 2 months
Description 5'11½" (1.82m) tall ; 167lbs
75.75 kg
Occupation Baker
Religion Lutheran
Address Astley street, Gosnells
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Auguste Anna Jaentsch
Military Information
Reg Number 1363
Date of Enlistment 28 Sep 1914
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement transferred to 51st Battalion
Date of Embarkation 22 Feb 1915 ‒ 24 Mar 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A50 Itonus
Fate KIA 12 Oct 1917 Passchendaele
Monument Gosnells War Memorial
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Menin Gate Memorial Panel 29
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

War Service

Taken on strength by the 11th Battalion at Gallipoli on 7 May 1915. On 26 Jul 1915 he was admitted to the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance with diarrhoea, and on 29 Jul 1915 he was transferred to HMHS Clacton, disembarking in Alexandria on 31 Jul 1915 and admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis. He was discharged to duty on 13 Aug 1915, and rejoined his unit on Gallipoli on 27 Aug 1915. Ill a second time, with dysentery, he was admitted on 14 Sep 1915 to the 2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance, before be passed to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station and then on 15 Sep 1915 he was he was sent offshore to the HMHS Nevasa. Transferred to HMHS Soudan, he was evacuated to Egypt. On 19 Sep 1915 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Heliopolis before being discharged to duty at Zeitoun on 12 Oct 1915. Back to Gallipoli for a third time, he rejoined his unit on 25 Oct 1915.

With his unit he returned to Egypt on 7 Jan 1916, aboard HMT Empress of Britain disembarking in Alexandria. On 23 Jan 1916 he was guilty of being out of bounds at Zagzig and was awarded 48 hour's detention. On 29 Feb 1916 he was transferred to the newly formed 51st Battalion which for the next 10 weeks was busy establishing itself and undertaking training near the Canal Zone. AWOL from Tattoo 29 Apr 1916 until 4:30pm on 2 May 1916, he was awarded 14 days Field Punishment No.2 and forfeiture of 4 day's pay. On 6 Jun 1916 he boarded a ship for England, disembarking in Plymouth on 16 Jun 1916.

In England he was sent to the 13th Training Battalion at Rollestone, and while there requested his parents wire him some money (£5). On 27 Jul 1916 he was found guilty of being AWOL from Tattoo 22 Jul 1916 until apprehended on 24 Jul 1916 and for breaking camp. Awarded 28 days' detention, and forfeited 2 days pay. In early September Fritz was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford with VD. Discharged to the Base Hospital Parkhouse on 11 Nov 1916 he returned to duty on 23 Nov 1916, total ineffective period was 77 days.

On 31 Dec 1916 Fritz proceeded overseas to France where he rejoined the 51st Battalion on 19 Jan 1917. On 12 Oct 1917 he was Killed in action near Passchendaele Ridge.

Red Cross file AWM

"He was in C Company, and was in Egypt with us in 1915. This was the only Jaentsch I knew - his first name was Fritz. He was killed by a shell after the attack we made just this side of Passchendaele Ridge, on 12th Oct. This was about 2pm when we had retired and were back in supports. He was very badly hit in the right shoulder. I was only about 5 yards from him. He only lived about 10 minutes and during that time he was unconscious. He was buried the same day, close to the spot where he was killed. I was present. There was no burial service. We marked the grave with a cross with his name, etc. on it in indelible pencil." 4604 Pte J.A.Sinclair C Company.

"I saw him killed near Passchendaele. He was killed by concussion from a big shell that landed near him. He only lived a few moments, but spoke to some of the boys before he died. I knew him well, he was the only man in the Company of that name. He was buried at the place of casualty, I saw his grave which was marked by a cross bearing his number, name and unit." 2392 Pte P.F. Critchley 11 Platoon, C Company 51st Battalion.

"We were on the Ypres front on October 12th, holding the line at Zonnebeke. A shell exploded near Jaentsch, he was hit in the neck and he died about five minutes after. I saw him killed and also buried in the same place. Jaentsch was rather tall and thin. He spoke with a bit of a Foreign accent. Very cheery, rather dark, a great favourite with the boys." 6414 Pte H. Butcher C Company 51st Battalion."
  • Menin Gate Memorial Ieper, Belgium
  • Section of 51st Battalion panels


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