Veterans

Unpublished Final Chapter Of Captain Sir Tom Moore's Book Released

The Second World War veteran and NHS fundraiser hoped to release the book, Captain Tom's Life Lessons, just before his 101st birthday.

Captain Sir Tom Moore wrote about his own death in a previously unreleased book, reflecting that it was "odd and rather touching" that people he had never met might weep when he died.

The Second World War veteran and NHS fundraiser hoped to release the book, Captain Tom's Life Lessons, just before his 101st birthday in April.

He died at Bedford Hospital on 2 February after testing positive for COVID-19.

His family released the book’s final chapter, titled Epilogue, as they announced his funeral will be held on Saturday.

In the chapter, Capt Sir Tom said: "Previously, my funeral would have made one little line in the local newspaper and been attended by only a handful of people, but I expect there'll be a few more now.

"Someone will have to make extra cake and sandwiches, and it won't be me.

"I want the service to end with My Way by Frank Sinatra because I always did things my way and especially like the line about having too few regrets to mention.

"It’s odd and rather touching to think that people might weep over my passing – strangers I've never even met.

"If I can, I'd like to watch my own funeral from a distance.

"That would be quite the joke as I looked down and chuckled at everyone making a lot of fuss over me."

Captain Sir Tom Moore at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in August last year (Picture: MOD).

Capt Sir Tom, who lived with one of his daughters and her family in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, went on: "Even though I have a space reserved in the village churchyard, I want to be cremated and my ashes taken back to Yorkshire to be with my parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.

"I wouldn't mind having a little white headstone somewhere to mark my existence, a bit like the ones they have in military cemeteries.

"Nothing too fancy."

He said he had also given thought to his epitaph, as several people had asked him.

"When I was younger I enjoyed listening to The Goon Show on the wireless, and one of the comedians who always made me laugh the hardest was Spike Milligan," he said.

"Like me, he fought in the Second World War but was wounded in Italy.

Captain Tom Moore in military uniform DATE UNKNOWN CREDIT FAMILY PHOTO
Captain Sir Tom Moore served with the Army during the Second World War (Picture: Family handout).

"When he died at the age of 83, he wrote his own epitaph, which was engraved in Gaelic on his headstone.

"It reads: 'I told you I was ill'.

"This always made me laugh, so I think I'd ask for the simple inscription of my name, the dates of my earthly span, and the words: 'I told you I was old'."

Captain Tom’s Life Lessons will be published on 2 April.

Meanwhile, a sculptor is hoping to raise £28,500 to create a two-metre-tall bronze statue of Capt Sir Tom to place in a hospital as a tribute to the veteran.

Andrian Melka, of Bolton Percy, in North Yorkshire, said he hopes the sculpture will provide inspiration for staff, patients and visitors and remind them that "one step in front of the other will get you somewhere".

The statue will portray Capt Sir Tom giving the thumbs-up as he completed the 100th lap of his Bedfordshire garden during his fundraiser last year.

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