Captain Sir Tom Visits Army Foundation College In New Honorary Role

Captain Sir Tom Moore was made Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College back in April to mark his 100th birthday.

Captain Sir Tom Moore has visited the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in his new role as Honorary Colonel of the centre.

The 100-year-old Second World War veteran told junior soldiers to take full advantage of the "outstanding" training centre in North Yorkshire as he was shown around the facility on Monday.

Capt Sir Tom became a national icon after raising nearly £33 million for the NHS by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden during the coronavirus lockdown ahead of his 100th birthday.

The former soldier, who was also knighted last month, was made Honorary Colonel of the college to mark his milestone birthday in April.

During his visit to the college, he said he was "absolutely speechless" to be made Honorary Colonel. 

He said: "To go up in so many ranks so quickly, I’m really delighted with that and I know it’s only an honorary one but really I’m absolutely thrilled with the fact that the honour has been placed on me.

"It really is truly a great honour."

Capt Sir Tom watched junior soldiers take part in various activities at the centre which trains 16 and 17-year-olds for a wide variety of Army careers.

He arrived at the site in a people carrier, escorted by military police, and posed for a photograph with staff from all departments before attending a service in a chapel.

He waved and gave a thumbs up to assembled junior soldiers, who gave him a round of applause as he walked towards them from his vehicle.

Captain Sir Tom Moore is given a guard of honour and is applauded on his visit of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in his new role as Honorary Colonel (Picture: MOD).

As the audience were asked for questions, a member of civilian staff said: "We just want to say a big thank you from everyone for the inspiration."

Captain Sir Tom replied: "It has been my pleasure."

The veteran enlisted into the Army at the start of the Second World War, and served in India, Myanmar and Sumatra, before working as an instructor at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Dorset upon his return to Britain.

He said he would advise the junior soldiers to try and be the best.

"When I was conscripted, one of the things I did when I joined the Army, I looked round to see all the other people and thought ‘I’m going to be the best’," he said.

“Without climbing over anyone’s shoulders, just quietly get on and do your best and be your best.”

Capt Sir Tom was given a colonel's rank slide during the visit (Picture: MOD).

At the end of the visit, Capt Sir Tom was applauded by junior soldiers as he walked to the exit, stopping to speak to cadets along the way.

He was also presented with a commemorative frame containing photos of the college and his visit, as well as badges of the college and the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment - Capt Sir Tom's former regiment.

He had earlier been given a colonel’s rank slide, which he wore on his tie.

Junior soldier Daniel, 17 and from Sheffield, described Capt Sir Tom as an "inspiration".

He said: "He gave us some advice for our future, to understand how lucky we are because back in his day it was much different, he didn’t have the opportunities we have here at the college and to take full advantage of that."