WWII

Captain Sir Tom Speaks About Importance Of Keeping Rank He Gained In Military

The Second World War veteran says he had never imagined he would become so well known.

Captain Sir Tom Moore says holding on to the rank he gained in the Armed Forces is important to him, despite his new-found personal fame, honours and records.

Having just released his autobiography Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day, the Second World War veteran says he never thought he would be so well known.

Captain Sir Tom holds the Guinness World record for raising the most money on an individual charity walk – £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 Army Foundation College Harrogate to mark his 100th birthday, as well as being knighted by the Queen in a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in July.

He told Forces News’ Laura Makin-Isherwood: "Sir Thomas Moore sounds lovely, but, I mean I'm Captain Tom really.

"It’s nice being knighted, I mean I never ever anticipated I would get knighted by the Queen but I was and it’s great but I’m still Captain Tom."

He captured the nation’s hearts with his fundraising might, but Captain Sir Tom Moore’s working life started in the Army.

Captain Sir Tom said: "When I joined the Army I set out, I was then a private soldier, but I set out that I was going to get an officer. That was my aim totally and that’s what I set out to do and I did.

"I did everything as well as I could and got from a second lieutenant to lieutenant and eventually I got to be a captain."

Captain Sir Tom Moore inspecting soldiers at the Army Foundation College, of which he is honorary colonel, at a passing out parade (Picture: PA).

In the Second World War, he was deployed to India and Burma, using the skills he learned in motorbike riding as a youngster to check if the coast ahead of his battalion was clear.

Captain Sir Tom is most proud, it seems, of his new honorary colonel status.

He carried out his first duties last week, inspecting graduates at the Army Foundation College Harrogate.

"I said to them that the world is your oyster," he said.

"There was 600 of them all marching out in front of me, that was something, something very special."

Asked whether he had imagined being made honorary colonel, awarded a knighthood, given a flypast to mark his 100th birthday, he replied: "No, I never, I mean, a few years ago I never ever anticipated, I never ever believed I would get knighted.

"The honorary colonel [title], that was something special.

"I’m the honorary colonel of such a magnificent outfit, I mean, they are trained to the highest standard.

"I’m very fortunate to be the honorary colonel for them, I really am, and I’m delighted with it."