Steve Hryciuk (1919 – 1984) served in the Regular Force of the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He was a Signalman in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, and he served overseas in Britain, Italy and in North-West Europe from 1941 to 1945. This image is from an undated snapshot, and it shows Steve Hryciuk standing and to the right in this group of four soldiers.
Steve Hryciuk was my great-uncle, and a brother of my grandmother, Mary (Hryciuk) Taras. Recently, I obtained copies of his attestation papers and war service record from Library & Archives Canada. These documents show that Steve Hryciuk volunteered to join the non-permanent active militia on 15 August 1940 at Salmon Arm, British Columbia, when he was 20 years old. He was called up to active service a year later, and deployed to Britain on 6 October 1941. As with most of the Canadian Army, he was involved in training and in the defence of Britain for the next two years. On 26 October 1943, Signalman Steve Hryciuk deployed to Italy, where he was attached to the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, a part of 1 Canadian Corps. The 5th Canadian Armoured Division saw notable action on the Hitler Line after the breakout from Cassino, and also on the Gothic Line. He redeployed to North-West Europe on 2 March 1945, and was with the First Canadian Army as it took part in the final offensive across the Rhine into Germany. Signalman Steve Hryciuk was repatriated to Canada, and left the Army on 19 November 1945. He had served for 1,562 days, 1,453 of which were served overseas.
Steve Hryciuk volunteered to fight for Canada, and he gave one reason for doing so in official documents: patriotism. For his service, he was awarded the following medals, depicted below: the 1939-45 Star, the Italy Star, the France-Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (with four silver maple leaf emblems) and the War Medal 1939-45.