Veterans

Captain Tom's 100th Birthday Marked With Flypasts

The Second World War veteran has raised millions for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden.

The Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps have marked NHS fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore's 100th birthday with flypasts over his home.

Aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, including a Spitfire and Hurricane, took part in an RAF tribute, while Army Air Corps Apache and Wildcat helicopters conducted a separate flypast.

Capt Tom has raised more than £30m for the NHS during the coronavirus lockdown by walking 100 laps of his garden.

Celebrating at home with his family, the Army veteran looked up from his Bedfordshire garden, where he took on the challenge, to see the iconic Battle of Britain aircraft fly over. 

He said: "Reaching 100 is quite something.

"Reaching 100 with such interest in me and huge generosity from the public is very overwhelming.

"People keep saying what I have done is remarkable, however, it's actually what you have done for me which is remarkable."

The former soldier punched the air in salute as the military planes passed his home.

The flypast comes as part of wider celebrations that have seen him appointed as the first Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College.

The decision, made by the Chief of General Staff, and approved by the Queen, was made to inspire the next generation of soldiers.

Capt Tom was also presented with his Second World War Defence Medal after he lost the original (Picture: MOD).

Army Air Corps Wildcat helicopter pilot, Captain Maddie Pizzoni, said: "Oh it's just fantastic, what he has achieved, and at such a fantastic age, is brilliant.

"He's been a real beacon of hope, I think, for the whole country during a really difficult and miserable time."

WATCH: Army Air Corps pay tribute to Captain Tom.

Capt Tom completed his final garden lap two weeks ago to a Guard of Honour from 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, but he pledged to keep on walking. 

"I felt a little frustrated and disappointed after I broke my hip and it knocked my confidence," he added.

"However, the past three weeks have put a spring back in my step.

"I have renewed purpose and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this exciting adventure, but I can't keep walking forever."

The donation page for the challenge is set to close this evening as money continues to pour in.

He has received more than 150,000 birthday cards, as well as a personal message from the Prime Minister.

However, the national hero has promised to return with "other ways" to help others.

"My legs may be tired, but my mind is racing and I'm hoping to be back very soon," he said.

The veteran's local postbox has been painted 'NHS blue' and decorated with a golden balloon in honour of his achievements.

Capt Tom has also been made an honorary member of the England cricket team for his fundraising efforts.

Cover image: The flypast took place above Captain Tom's Bedfordshire home (Picture: MOD).