Edward Rudolph Janshewsky

Alias Janshwesky (WWII)
Russian spelling Эдуард Рудольф Яншевский
Born 9.10.1893 (WWI); 9.10.1883 (WWII, naturalisation)
Place Libava (Liepaja), Latvia
Ethnic origin Polish / Latvian?
Religion Presbyterian
Father William Janshewsky

Wife Signa Janshewsky (nee Hansen), married 1921 in New Zealand

Residence before arrival at Australia Left Russia ca 1910 for USA, lived in Great Britain for 4 years
Arrived at Australia from England
on 07.1915
disembarked at Sydney (?)
Residence before enlistment Sydney
Occupation 1915 sailor (fireman); 1942, 1947 boot maker
Naturalisation 1947
Residence after the war 1919-22 New Zealand, after that lived in Sydney
Died 12.04.1953 Sydney

Service #1

Service number 2687B
Enlisted 13.09.1915
Place of enlistment Liverpool, NSW
Unit 18th Battalion, 3rd Battalion, 1st Pioneer Battalion
Rank Private
Place Western Front, 1916-1918
Final fate RTA 12.06.1919
Discharged 22.08.1919

Service #2 – WWII

Enlisted 1942
Unit Boot repair section
Rank Corporal
Discharged 1946


Blog article



Newspaper articles

"On the Rocks". Successful presentation. - The Australian Worker, Sydney, 17 October 1934, p. 7

Workers' Art Club. - The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 March 1935, p. 10

From Russian Anzacs in Australian History:

Drinking together, as mentioned earlier, was important in building bridges between people; but sometimes even this did not help. Edward Janshewsky, a Russian from Libava, left home when he was 17 and worked as a fireman on steamships, along the way collecting tattoos on his arms -- butterfly, cross, heart and anchor, skull and snake, clasped hands, dagger, US flag and girl -- which seemed to express something about his fears and aspirations. When he landed in Australia on a voyage from South America to Russia, the Russian consul in Australia made him enlist in the AIF. But his service did not go well. Court-martialled for going absent without leave in December 1917, his explanation to the court was: 'I am a Russian and consequently was not much liked in the Coy. I consequently took to drink and went away.' I believe that in his case, and in a number of other cases, Russianness was only one of the factors contributing to a soldier's unpopularity. Janshewsky, though he enlisted in September 1915 and was in France until May 1918, when he ended up deserting, saw hardly any service with his unit (1st Pioneer Battalion), spending most of his time in hospitals, at base depots, being absent without leave and in detention. Later, he was found not to be eligible for war medals. Nevertheless we shall meet him again later -- a quite different man this time, an Australian.