Army

Captain Sir Tom Moore Tells Junior Soldiers 'The World Is Your Oyster'

The fundraising veteran also handed out awards and watched a flypast of two Apache helicopters.

Captain Sir Tom Moore has told junior soldiers passing out of their basic training that the "world is an oyster and yours to go and open".

Capt Sir Tom took the salute as nearly 300 teenagers graduated from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

In his speech, he told the junior soldiers, who had just finished 18 weeks of basic training, they "are starting a future of absolutely unlimited scope".

The 100-year-old World War Two veteran was made honorary colonel earlier this year, and returned to perform the official duties at the parade which had a range of coronavirus-related safety measures. 

Capt Sir Tom said: "For the rest of their lives they’ll find that they are all comrades together.

"That will go on and on, just as it has for me.

"It’s a long time since I was in the forces but I have still got comrades wherever I go.

"It really is a magnificent unit to be in."

The fundraising veteran also presented the Sir Tom Moore Trophy For Charitable Endeavour, as well as awards for best junior soldier and best shot.

Captain Sir Tom was made honorary colonel of the college earlier this year (Picture: PA).

He also watched a flypast of two Apache helicopters.

Whilst the parade was scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic, each soldier was allowed two family guests - the first parade since February with any family allowed to attend.

Lieutentant Colonel Simon Farebrother, the college’s Commanding Officer, said following Capt Sir Tom’s appointment as honorary colonel it was a "priority to get him back to take the salute at one of these parades".

"I think the junior soldiers were absolutely thrilled," he said.

"You could see the parents and guardians as well – everyone wants to get a photo of him. He’s a proper celebrity and he’s a brilliant spokesman for the college as well."

Capt Sir Tom became a household name after raising £33 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before he turned 100 in April - smashing his original target of £1,000.

He was appointed honorary colonel of the college to mark his 100th birthday, as well as being knighted by the Queen in a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in July.

The veteran, who took part in the Battle of Ramree Island as part of the Burma campaign during the Second World War, also had a number one hit single after recording a duet with Michael Ball.

He is also releasing two books as well as his own charitable foundation. 

Cover image: Captain Sir Tom Moore inspecting junior soldiers as they pass out from the Army Foundation College in his role as honorary colonel (Picture: PA).