Captain Sir Tom has collectively raised over £32m for the NHS by walking 100 circuits of his home garden before his 100th birthday.
The Second World War veteran, who inspired the nation in lockdown by raising millions for the NHS, died aged 100, as confirmed by his family. Captain Sir Tom was taken to Bedford Hospital on Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus last week, after previously being treated for pneumonia for some time.
He was considered a national treasure and a household name very quickly after raising more than £32m for the health service by walking 100 laps of his garden on his zimmer frame.
In a statement given by his daughters Hannah and Lucy, they said, “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.”
“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime. We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.Advertisement”
“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.”
Chief nurse of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liz Lees said, “It has been our immense privilege to care for Captain Sir Tom Moore.”
“We share our deepest condolences and sympathies with his family and loved ones at this incredibly sad time. We’d also like to say thank you, and pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore for the remarkable contribution he has made to the NHS.”
Thomas Moore born on 30 April 1920 in Keighley, West Yorkshire, attended grammar school and got an early apprenticeship in civil engineering. Soon after the second world war broke out, in 1939, when he was just 19 years of age.
The teenager enlisted in the 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and was stationed many miles away from his Cornwall home.
Captain Sir Tom was selected for officer training in 1940 and was soon commissioned afterwards as a second lieutenant in June 1941.
In October 1941, Tom became a member of the Royal Armoured Corps and was transferred to the 9th Battalion in India, where he spent time in both Kolkata and Mumbai. He took part in the Battle of Ramree Island. His military career continued during the war, with promotions to war-lieutenant in 1942 and captain in 1944.
He was posted to Arakan in Western Myanmar and afterwards to Sumatra after Japan surrendered. On returning to the UK, he worked as an instructor for the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington, Dorset, which was quite close to his Cornwall home.
Captain Sir Tom married his second wife Pamela in January 1968. They went on to have their two daughters Lucy and Hannah.
In later life, the couple retired to the Costa del Sol in Spain. They unfortunately had to return to the UK when Pamela was diagnosed with dementia and was subsequently moved to a nursing home. She sadly passed away in 2006.
Two years after his second wife’s passing, Sir Tom moved in with his daughter Hannah, her husband and two of his grandchildren in the Bedfordshire area.
Despite his impressive military credentials, it wasn’t until the year 2020 that he became a household name.
Described as an “inspiration to us all” and a “national hero”, he first made headlines on 6 April 2020, just two weeks after the first UK lockdown.
At the ripe age of 99, he pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise a mere £1,000 for the NHS.
But within just a few days, he had easily captured the hearts of the whole country and far exceeded his original target, getting to a whopping £20m, just two days before his birthday.
On 30 April he was able to celebrate his milestone birthday by completing his final lap at home in Bedfordshire, after raising more than £30m for NHS Charities Together.
His efforts were rewarded with a tributary flypast by the military, the title of honorary colonel, messages from the Queen, prime minister and thousands of birthday cards from well-wishers all over the country. He quoted at the time, “When we started off with this exercise, we didn’t anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money. It’s really amazing.”
“We’re a little bit like having a war at the moment,” he stated.
“But the doctors and the nurses, they’re all on the front line, and all of us behind, we’ve got to supply them and keep them going with everything that they need, so that they can do their jobs even better than they’re doing now.”
In July, he was knighted by the Queen at an outdoor, socially distanced ceremony at Windsor Castle.
On 31 January this year, his family reported he’d been taken to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 the previous week.
Despite being eligible for a vaccine, being over 80, he was not given one because he was receiving treatment for pneumonia, which could have put him at risk.
He was taken to Bedford Hospital for help after struggling with his breathing.
His passing is a tragic loss for not only a recent hero, but also one whom has probably never been fully recognised for his efforts back during the second world war. To Sir Captain Tom, on behalf of everyone in the UK, god bless you and may you rest in peace.
Captain Sir Tom Moore is survived by his two daughters and four grandchildren.
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