The AIF Project

Fitz JAENTSCH

Regimental number1363
Place of birthAdelaide, South Australia
ReligionLutheran
OccupationBaker
Address...
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 11.5"
Weight167 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Augusta Jaentsch, Astley Street, Gosnells, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in Kalgoorlie Central School Cadet Corps.
Enlistment date28 September 1914
Place of enlistmentHelena Vale, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name11th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A50 Itonus on 22 February 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
153
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 11th Bn, Gallipoli, 7 May 1915.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 26 July 1915 (diarrhoea); transferred to HS 'Claxton', 29 July 1915; disembarked Alexandria, 31 July 1915, and admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis; discharged to duty, 13 August 1915.

Rejoined 11th Bn, Gallipoli, 27 August 1915.

Admitted to 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, 14 September 1915 (dysentery); transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 15 September 1915; to HS 'Nerasu', 15 September 1915, and admitted to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 19 September 1915; discharged to duty, 12 October 1915.

Rejoined 11th Bn, Gallipoli, 25 October 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Found guilty, 23 January 1916, of being out of bounds at Zagazig: awarded 48 hours' detention.

Transferred to 51st Bn, 29 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, 6 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 16 June 1916.

Found guilty, Rollestone, 27 July 1916, (1) of being absent without leave from Tattoo, 22 July 1916; (2) breaking camp: awarded 28 days' detention, and forfeited 2 days' pay under Royal Warrant, and covered police expenses.

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford (date not recorded); transferred to Base Hospital, Parkhouse, 11 November 1916; discharged from hospital, 23 November 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 77 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 31 December 1916; taken on strength, 51st Bn, in the field, 19 January 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

Note, Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert by Capt. Mills. 10.10.1919.'

Statement, 6414 Pte H. BUTCHER, C Company, 51st Bn, 5 March 1918: 'We were on the Ypres front on October 12th, holding the line at Zonnebeke. A shell exploded just 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.'

Second statement, 4606 Pte J.A. SINCLAIR, C Company, 51st Bn (patient, 24th General Hospital), Etaples, 13 March 1918: 'He was killed by a shell after the attack we made just this side of Passchendaele Ridge, on 12th Oct. This was about 2 p.m. when we had retired and were back in supports. He was very badly hit in the right shoulder. I was only about 5 yards away from him. He only lived about 10 minute and during that time he was unconscious. He as buried that same day close to the spot where he was killed. I was present. There as no burial service. We marked the grave with a cross with his name etc. on it in indelible pencil.'

Third statement, 2392 Pte P.F. CRITCHLET, C Company, 51st Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 23 March 1918: '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 very well, he was the only man in the company of this name. He was buried at place of casualty, I saw his grave which was marked by a cross bearing his number, name and unit.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, JAENTSCH Fitz
Red Cross File No 1420505H

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