|Private Stephen Kazuke|
Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment
Killed in Action, January 2, 1945
My uncle Steve Kazuke is a bit of an enigma. He is my mother's older brother, but I don't know how much older. What I do know about him is that when Canada declared war against Germany in September of 1939, his big brothers, Mike, Bill and Peter enlisted with various Canadian regiments and all saw action in Europe. Apparently, Steve, who was not old enough to enlist, was eaten up that his brothers were off fighting a war and he was stuck back home in Lachine, Quebec.
So, he did what a lot of teenagers at the time did: He lied about his age and signed up with the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment. My grandfather was, acoording to my mother, heartbroken. Again, I don't know the details - when he enlisted, how long he served and where he saw action. Sadly, what I do know is that on January 2, 1945, he was struck down by a sniper's bullet somewhere in Italy. My other uncles all came home alive.
My mother remembers her father getting the telegram informing him of my uncle's death. The whole family was devestated by the loss. My uncle now lies in the Villanova Canadian War Cemetary in North-Eastern Italy in the Province of Ravenna. Sadly, nobody from the family that I know of has visited the grave. I hope one day to be the guy. I know my mother, who passed away in 1998, would be happy that somebody made the pilgrimage.