Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 25, 1885
Place of BirthOstrozan, Kiev
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMaria Savchuk (wife), Ustingrad, P.O. Ostrozan, Kiev, Russia
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionGreek Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number886551
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo. 72 Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentPrince Albert, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentApril 3, 1916
Age at Enlistment30
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 18, 1951
Age at Death65
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotRC B - 10 - 25

Sawchuk (Savchuk), Steve

According to his attestation papers, Steve Sawchuk (Savchuk) was born on 25 December 1885 in Ostrozan, Kiev, Russia. His parents were Philip and Domikia/Dominikia Savchuk. Steve was married in Russia and when he signed his attestation papers he gave Maria Savchuk, wife, who still lived in Russia as his next of kin. He also said he had a son, Ivan, who was four years old.

Steve enlisted with the 188th Battalion on 3 April 1916 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. His younger brother Paul Savchuk enlisted with the same battalion on the same day and they were given consecutive regimental numbers. Steve and Paul were both transferred to the 144th Battalion at Camp Hughes, Manitoba on 6 July 1916. They embarked with their unit from Halifax on the S.S. Olympic on 18 September, arriving in England about a week later. The 144th Battalion trained at Seaford. At the end of November Steve was sentenced to 28 days field punishment #2 for various offences including breaking out of camp and creating a disturbance.

In January 1917 Steve was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion and a month later he was drafted to the 52nd Battalion and sent to France. He joined his new unit in the field at the end of February. From 4 May to 22 May he was in No. 4 Stationary Hospital with a fever of unknown origin (PUO). At the end of December 1917 he was given two weeks leave in the UK. In March 1918 he was posted to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp and in April he was transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps. He served with No. 72 Company for the next six months. In October he had another two-week leave in the UK and shortly after his return he became ill (vdg). He received three weeks treatment at a detention hospital in Gironde, France. During that time the Armistice ended hostilities.

In January 1919 Steve developed urethritis and he was evacuated to England and admitted to No. 9 Canadian General Hospital in Kinmel Park. He embarked for Canada on 10 February on the S.S. Royal George. On 28 March he was admitted to the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital in Tuxedo Park, Winnipeg to continue treatment for his urethritis. He was released from the hospital on 6 May and discharged due to demobilization on 16 May in Winnipeg. His brother Paul also served with No. 72 Company in the Canadian Forestry Corps and he returned to Canada in February 1919.

Steve’s intended residence after the war was Winnipeg but within a few years he was living in Kenora, Ontario. He started working for the local pulp and paper mill in 1925 and went on to have a long career with them. He was married in Kenora on 24 February 1927. His wife, Kelnriss (Katherine) Rendziak, was a widow with at least two young children. She was born in 1899 in the Ukraine and came to Canada in the spring of 1924 to join her husband John (Jan) Rendziak, who was working in Kenora. Sadly, John was killed in a workplace accident on 8 October 1924. He’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

After they were married Steve and Catherine continued to live in Kenora and they raised six children: Peter Rendziak (b. 1920), Ann Rendziak, Amelia, George (b. 1927), Paul and William. Katherine apparently became ill around 1937 and spent a year in a hospital in Brantford, Ontario before being moved to a hospital in Fort William. She passed away on 15 June 1939, at age 40. She was survived by her husband and six children. Steve became a member of the Canadian Legion, Kenora branch. The 1945 federal voters’ list records him (with the surname Sawchuk) living on Fourth Street North in Kenora and working as an oiler at the paper mill.

Steve passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora on 18 January 1951, at age 65. His funeral was held two days later and he’s buried next to his wife in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. The cross that marks his grave has 1950 as his year of death in error. His brother Paul was a machinist and he lived with his wife Dora in Ford City, Ontario, now part of the city of Windsor. He was still there, listed as retired, in 1968. Steve’s son George became an artist and lived on Vancouver Island. He passed away in 2012 and was survived by his wife and family and his sister Amelia (Mrs. John Harry Shiska) in Kenora.

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