The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Regimental #:
Headquarters Company
Place of Birth:
Adelaide, South Australia
Father's Name:
John Friederich Wilhelm Jaensch
Mothers's Name:
Ellen Jaensch
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Collective Grave, Plot 10, Row C, Grave 3-5, Age 36.
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
'D' Force Thailand V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Kinsaiyok, Brancassi, Hindaine, Kuii.
4/6259 & 2259
Cause of Death:
Acute Enteritis and Malaria
Place of Death:
Date of Death:
Grave No. 193, Kuii.

General Description

Jaensch was residing Leederville, when he enlisted AIF 25 July 1941 later joining 2/4th’s HQ Coy No 2 Platoon, Anti-Aircraft under CO Lt Royce.  We believe Jaensch was Taken on Strength from Northam Army Camp to Woodside Camp, South Australia 5 Oct 1941 where he joined No. 2 Platoon.
Selected from Selarang, Singapore  for Don Force ‘V’ Battalion to work on the Railway.  They left 17th March 1943 by trucks to Singapore Railway station for their four-day train trip to Thailand.
Travelling via Kanchanaburi and Tarsao,  ‘V’ Battalion Group 6 arrived Kinsaiyok Camp on 31 March 1943 and remained here until 1 May 1943.  At Kanchanaburi they met up with Major Cough’s group and thereafter moved off under his command.
Kinsaiyok was already occupied by 300 British and 600 Dutch POWs.  Major Gough’s ‘V’ Battalion consisted of 5 officers and 482 other ranks – ‘V’ Battalion would suffer more than any other ‘D’ Force groups with heavy loss of life.
The first task at Kinsaiyok was to cut a truck in the jungle ahead of the rail laying gangs and the excavation of a long cutting.  7 men were to die at this camp during the 32 day work schedule.
2nd May 1943 – ‘V’ Battalion moved north to staging overnight at Rin Tin Camp.  The next day they set out arriving at Hindato Camp at the 197.75 kilo point, again staging overnight.  The following day the moved another 10 kilometres to Brankassi Camp – arriving 5th May 1943.


Brankassi-Onte-Gangan Camps 5/5/1943 to 10/7/1943
Brankassi Camp was located at 20-8.11 km point on the railway. Working conditions, accommodation and food would be the same as they would encounter from July at Hindaine Camp.  It was judged as being worse than Kinsaiyok with mud contributing to  the discomfort.
27 men would die at Brankassi including 5 machine gunners including William ‘Bill’ Andrew Dyer who had been in a weak and delirious state thought to be brought on by cerebral malaria.

Read further D’ Force Thailand V Battalion and Kuii Camp

Below:  Site of Kuii POW Camp.  Any land which has experienced deaths, such a former POW Camps are never constructed upon.  The Thai population leaves the land as vacant. Taken 2018.
Site of Kuii Camp

Photograph taken January 2018, C. Mellor

Lawrence Jaensch was born SA 1907 Greenock, SA to parents John Friederich Wilhelm Jaensch and Ellen Mary Devlin who married Feb 1901 at Greenock, S.A.
Lawrence had an older sister Eva Rose born 1901.  His mother Ellen died aged 34 years at Greenock, SA 12 April 1908.  Lawrence was about 10 months old.    His father John (Johann) Jaensch remarried 1910 to Sophie Caroline Olsen.  John and Sophie had five more children.
Lawrence’s father John (known as Bill) died July 1943 at Moppa, SA. aged 73 years. John Jaensch would have not known whether his son Lawrence was alive and/or deceased.  Lawrence’s stepmother Sophie died 1992 Adelaide, aged 103 years.
Lawrence’s step brother Oscar Clarence  b. 1912  Kapunda also enlisted, in SA , SX24884. Ex Aust Docks Serv TRG Coy.
Docks Operating Coy –  TRG – Training or goods truck (Reconnaissance Code).



Below:  Ellen Jaensch (nee Devlin) died 12 Apr 1908 aged 34 years.  Ellen’s mother Rose Devlin, had messages printed in newspapers fotr several years on the anniversary of her daughter, Ellen.

Below:  Rose Devlin died 1916 aged 87 years.  Her death was eight years after Ellen passed away.





Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand