My name is Steven Berezowski and I was born on 3 February, 1919 in Janow Corners (Meath Park), Saskatchewan. I’m the fifth of 14 children born to Joseph and Annie nee Billay Berezowski. My parents were homesteaders and made their living by farming. My siblings were Lucy, Mary, Katie (deceased), Mike, John, Walter (deceased), Peter, Josephine, Charley,
Frances and Frank (twins), Ralph and Adam. I attended a one room schoolhouse finishing with a grade 7 education. After my schooling I worked at farming in Saskatchewan and in 1939 I started work for MacKinnon Industries, a subsidiary of General Motors in St. Catherines, Ontario.
I joined the military in early Spring 1940 in Toronto, Ontario. I was on my way to Toronto to visit my sister Lucy when I spotted tents on Bay Street. The tents were full of Highlanders and I thought they had real nice uniforms so I went to one of the Recruiting tents and signed up.
From there I was sent to Camp Borden, Ontario for Basic Training as a Motor Mechanic. After Basic Training I was sent to Kingston, Ontario where I was training to be a dispatch rider. From there I was sent to Aldershot, arriving in England in December 1941.
I took one flight to be a paratrooper and that was enough!! I joined the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. I was stationed in West Sussex where we helped load rubble from bombed out buildings in London. Then to Uckfield in East Sussex. This is where I met my future wife April on 22 August 1942. Then I was sent to Bodiam Castle for training.
From there to North Africa on to the invasion of Sicily, then the invasion of Italy, all the time as a dispatch rider. One night I had a collision with an on coming vehicle and no one knew where I was. I ended up at a New Zealand Field Station (Medical) but was reported missing in action by my unit. My sister Lucy was my next of kin and she received two telegrams stating I was missing in action. I was away three days before I could fix up my motorcycle and crawl back. Lucy then received the third telegram, this time from me, stating I was still living! I also sent a telegram to April which she vividly recalls it reading: “all safe and with fondest love, Steve.“
We went from Italy to France, through Belgium to Holland. On April 13th, there were 45 injuries in my unit while taking dispatches from the front line near Cleve, Germany. I was taken to hospital in Apeldorm where I stayed for six weeks.
I have no regrets, I joined to see the world and see the world I did! I had a lot of fun, except for the deaths and the injuries and I met life long friends.
One of my mates, Jim Ercolini, loved to tell the story of how I would ride my motorcycle across a deep valley on the beam (a couple of hundred feet long) left from a bombed bridge while he would travel down the winding road and up the other side. By the time Jim arrived I would be fast asleep on my motorcycle. Jim and I stayed close friends for years.
I was released from the military on 21 February 1946, end of demobilization. I returned back to work for General Motors. And I want to tell you that General Motors were some good to their employees who went to war. They sent us cigarettes every month and I remember being sent other things too, like a wallet.
I married April nee Vaughan from Uckfield, Sussex, England on 24 July 1945. We raised two sons Anthony Steven nicknamed Tony, born 19 April 1947 and Peter John, born 28 October 1952. I have been a member of the Colchester N.S. Branch No. 26 Royal Canadian Legion for 26 years.
Note: A certificate in Mr. & Mrs. Berezowski’s home reads:
“By the King’s order the name of Lance Corporal Steven Berezowski, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps was pub-lished in the London Gazette on 10 January 1946 as mentioned in a dispatch for distinguished service.