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Lives of the Second World War: Michael Kasijan




B Company, 1st Battalion, The Winnipeg Grenadiers, R.C.I.C.

Date of Death: 22/12/1941


Biographical Information

Michael Kasijan (also, Mike Kasian) was born on 5 October 1916 (or, 1917) in Pleasant Home, Manitoba. He was the son of Peter and Mary Kasijan. He had one sister, Anne. The family moved to Transcona sometime before 1936, as Michael was attending Grade 11 at Central School at the time.

He married Mary Anderson in October 1938 and they had two sons, Allan and Kenneth. The family lived at 176 Carlton Street in Winnipeg (until Mary moved with her sons to Portage la Prairie in 1942). He was employed as a railroad worker for the Canadian National Railway at the time of his enlistment.

Military Service

Black and white newspaper photograph of Pte. Michael Kasijan
Pte. Michael "Mike" Kasijan. Photo courtesy of the Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg Free Press, 3 January 1942, Page 3)

Michael enlisted on 26 September 1939 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers on enlistment. He trained in Winnipeg for a short period and then proceeded to Jamaica and the West Indies for further training. After 16 months, in October 1941 he sailed for Hong Kong. Pte. Michael Kasijan was killed in action during the defence of Hong Kong on 22 December 1941.

Michael was officially declared "Killed in Action" by the Department of National Defence in January 1943. During that time, it was assumed that Michael had been taken as a prisoner of war by the Japanese. His death was confirmed by December 1942 once his name did not appear on the POW lists provided to the International Red Cross.

For his service, Pte. Kasijan was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Pacific Star, the War Medal 1939-1945, and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with clasp.

Burial and Commemorations

Pte. Kasijan is commemorated at the Sai Wan Memorial, Column 26 in Hong Kong. He is also commemorated on the Portage la Prairie War Memorial. In 1972, Kasijan Lake in Manitoba (located northeast of Lac Brochet) was named after Michael.

At this time, Michael Kasijan is not commemorated on the Transcona Cenotaph. Following the rededication of the cenotaph in 2011, his name was noted as missing from the Second World War plaques. His name will be added to the plaques when the cenotaph is rededicated in the future, along with other names that have been identified as missing.

Pte. Kasijan is included in a new series of plaques commemorating the World War fallen from Transcona on display in the Field of Honour at the Transcona Cemetary.

Lest We Forget.



Central School Honour Roll, Transcona Museum.

Transcona Museum Archives.


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