A LANDSCAPE gardener from Norfolk who was serving as a volunteer medic with Ukrainian forces has been killed by Russian troops whereas out on patrol.
Craig Stanley Waterproof coat, 48, is believed to have been shot lifeless on Wednesday final week when his squad was ambushed.
It’s believed that he was hit within the neck whereas attempting to assist an injured comrade in a car hit by a tank shell close to the Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv.
His sister Lorna Waterproof coat revealed in a Fb put up that he had “died in motion saving lives as a real hero”.
Mr Waterproof coat of Thetford, Norfolk, who had two daughters and two step-daughters had served within the Territorial Military between the ages of 16 to 23 when he had the ambition of turning into a full time soldier.
However an inoperable cyst close to his mind meant he failed a medical examination to hitch the British Military, and he grew to become a panorama gardener and a tree surgeon.
After an accident involving a chainsaw left him in fixed ache, he determined to volunteer to hitch the Ukrainian battle effort as a medic, leaving the UK on March 24.
He returned briefly in April for a spell of go away earlier than beginning a second tour with a volunteer squad in Ukraine at the start of August.
Lorna of Thetford stated: “He advised us this may be his ‘final hurrah’ earlier than ‘coming again to Blighty to be a gardener’ in October.”
She added: “It had at all times been his dream to serve within the armed forces, and watching the battle unfold and seeing the devastation, he determined he needed to exit to assist individuals.
“Craig was the sort of one that would see a tough scenario and attempt to make somebody giggle. He was an actual morale booster and really humorous.
“He was well-known and well-loved and earned the respect of total villages – all he needed to do was to assist individuals.”
His household have now launched a gofundme attraction to attempt to elevate the cash to deliver his physique residence.
Writing on the gofundme web page, which has thus far raised greater than £4,100, Lorna stated: ” Please assist us deliver this battle hero residence.
“Our brother bravely volunteered to go to the (Ukraine) as a medic to assist save lives on this battle torn nation. Within the line of obligation, serving to others he misplaced his life.
“This selfless man is at present stranded in a morgue in Ukraine and there’s no assist to get him residence. We have now spoken to a global funeral supplier and it may value round £4,000 to have him repatriated again to the UK.
“He gave his life to avoid wasting others and he wants to come back again residence to have the service he deserves. A real hero’s service surrounded by his household and mates. Please, please assist to deliver our hero residence.”
In one other Fb put up, she added: “Craig touched the hearts of many individuals right here and within the Ukraine and can at all times be remembered as a real hero”.
Mr Waterproof coat’s different sister Claire stated: “We nonetheless do not perceive the complete image. We have been provided scraps of data from kind-hearted volunteers giving us what they know.
“We really feel there was a severe lack of help to assist return his physique to England and to these volunteering on the entrance traces.”
Turner Funerals of Thetford is making preparations to deliver Mr Waterproof coat’s physique again to his residence city.
The agency’s director Lydia Turner stated her accomplice Mal Offen and one other member of employees can be driving greater than 1,700 miles via France, Germany and Poland to gather his physique from a mortuary within the city of Lozova.
She stated: “It’s unimaginable to fly to Ukraine so we will probably be driving there. We’re having to fill out numerous paperwork. However the British Consulate helps us to get every part we want.
“The primary factor is that his household had been frightened about him being on his personal on the journey again right here. We have now been capable of guarantee them that that we are going to accompany him all the best way.”
Mr Waterproof coat’s pal George Dyson who served with him as a medic in Ukraine stated on social media that he had been killed when his unit was “pinned down” and taking casualties.
He stated his pal was “helping in serving to his fellow troopers and operating throughout open floor” when he “was sadly shot by Orcs”.
My Dyson added: “This man deserves a medal and extra. I spoke to Craig day by day main as much as going again into Ukraine for a second time.
“He was nice man with an enormous coronary heart and had an incredible sense of humour. I’ve simply spoken to one of many guys that was connected to Craig’s group and he stated that Craig fought with nice bravery and honour and was a really courageous man.
“I ship my deepest condolences and sympathy to his household, mates and family members. RIP Courageous warrior”