Veterans

Captain Sir Tom Moore Dies Aged 100

The Second World War veteran became a national treasure after raising more than £32m for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Captain Sir Tom Moore, who captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first lockdown, has died aged 100.

The charity fundraiser died in Bedford Hospital on Tuesday morning after testing positive for COVID-19.

His daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira hailed the last year of his life as "nothing short of remarkable", adding: "He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of."

The Second World War veteran became a national treasure after raising more than £32m for the NHS by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden.

He received a knighthood for his efforts, as well as becoming the first Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Capt Sir Tom also won a Pride of Britain Award, released a charity song which reached number one in the UK singles charts and started the Captain Tom Foundation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the veteran, saying: "Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word.

"In the dark days of the Second World War, he fought for freedom and in the face of this country’s deepest post-war crisis, he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.

"It is quite astonishing that at the age of 100 he raised more than £32 million for the NHS, and so gave countless others their own chance to thank the extraordinary men and women who have protected us through the pandemic.

"He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family."

Captain Tom Moore completing 100th lap of his garden
Capt Sir Tom raised more than £32m for the NHS by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden (Picture: PA).

Mr Johnson spoke to Ms Ingram-Moore to offer his condolences and the flag above 10 Downing Street will fly at half-mast.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "This is incredibly sad news. Captain Tom Moore put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions. Britain has lost a hero."

Buckingham Palace said the Queen and the Royal Family’s thoughts are with Capt Sir Tom’s family and she is sending a private message of condolence.

Capt Sir Tom had been taken to hospital on Sunday after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for coronavirus last week.

His family praised the care he had received from the NHS and said they had been able to spend time with him in his final hours.

In a statement, Ms Ingram-Moore and Ms Teixeira said: "We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime.

"We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.

"The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.

"Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever."

Captain Sir Thomas Moore receives his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle 170720 CREDIT PA
Capt Sir Tom was knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle in July last year (Picture: PA).

The NHS, who Capt Sir Tom raised millions for, tweeted: "Thanks for everything Sir Tom."

Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said Capt Sir Tom's fundraising efforts had "reached the length and breadth of the UK".

Singer Michael Ball, who recorded the number one charity single with Capt Sir Tom, wrote on Twitter: "Rest in peace @captaintommoore. A wonderful life so well lived and a hero and fighter to the very end."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London mayor Sadiq Khan were also among those to pay tribute.

Tributes have also come in from across the military community.

The British Army, who Capt Sir Tom served with during the Second World War, described him as "an exceptional man and soldier to the end".

The Royal Navy also paid tribute, while the RAF said he was a "true inspiration".

Information released on behalf of Capt Sir Tom’s family revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 on 22 January after returning home from hospital where he was admitted on 12 January and diagnosed with pneumonia.

He was tested "regularly" for COVID-19 whilst in hospital, the statement said.

He was taken by ambulance to Bedford Hospital on Sunday, 31 January.

Cover image: Captain Sir Tom Moore at Army Foundation College in Harrogate in August 2020 (Picture: MOD).