Berkshire Costa raises money for colleague caught in WWI bomb blast that left bride in hospital



A Berkshire Costa cafe is raising money for one of their colleagues after a World War I bomb exploded, leaving his wife in hospital and two other men dead.

Norbert Varga, 43, and his wife Lidiia Makarchuk, 31, were on their honeymoon in Lidiia’s native Ukraine to celebrate the occasion with family and friends when disaster struck.

The couple, who live in Binfield, decided to travel to the Eastern European country so they could see a family they had not been able to visit for a while.

Read more: Bride on honeymoon in hospital, brother killed after campfire detonated bomb

Before the explosion happened, the couple decided to take a group of friends to the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine and set up a camp in an area of ​​the mountains that Lidiia described as ” breathtaking “.

On Wednesday September 15, Norbet left the group, who were all crowded around the fire, to go get his camera when he heard a whistle, followed by a bang.

A World War I bomb, left by Austro-Hungarian troops over 100 years ago, came back to life under their campfire and exploded.

Lidiia was sitting by the fire with three friends, her brother Myroslav and another friend before the bomb exploded and killed the two men.

Before being rushed to hospital by the emergency services, Myroslav was moaning that his sister Lidiia could hear.

Lidiia said: “My only regret is that I didn’t call him to tell him I love him.”

Lidiia’s father had died a week before her marriage to Norbert on July 27 and sadly, as Lidiia was still in the hospital at the time, she was unable to attend her brother’s funeral after his death in the explosion of September 15.

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Recalling the night, Norbert said: “I will never forget the sound of Myroslav’s deadly agony.

“I still think, what more could I have done? Why not me? Why them?”

The Costa Coffee branch in which Norbert works in Warfield is currently fundraising for his colleague who is described as “the most sincere person you will meet”.

One of the Warfield branch baristas, Charlie Davis, said: “Norbert is everyone’s favorite, customers love him. He’s the most genuinely nice person you can meet.

“He is constantly smiling and he is always ready to talk with people and try to learn and understand as much as possible about people. His English is not fantastic but he is always trying to learn new things and not just to work.

“He’s always the first to make people laugh. He has such a weird but funny sense of humor and everyone who works with him says the same thing.”

Charlie went on to explain that everyone in the store is “absolutely gutted” that this tragic event happened to Norbert and his wife Liddia.

Since the explosion, the store has found plenty of ways to try and help Norbert and his family.

“When the incident happened, a friend of his started a go-fund-me page, then we printed a poster with a QR code on which people were taken straight to the web page and we have a poster of that in the store, Charlie said.

“We also have a jar where people can put change and so on.

“At the time I also set up a Facebook fundraiser which is already over as they only let me do it for a few weeks but it was money just to go straight to Norbert and Liidia, especially me and other people inside our store here.

“We will continue to fundraise until they no longer need help.”

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