Captain Sir Thomas Moore, more popularly known as Captain Tom, was a British Army officer who raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Captain Sir Tom Moore was awarded a knighthood from the Queen in the summer at Windsor Castle - an honor he said left him "absolutely overawed". As well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Keir Starmer, celebrities and public figures paid their respects to the veteran’s fundraiser. Via Getty Images.
Captain Sir Thomas Moore (30 April 1920 – 2 February 2021), more popularly known as Captain Tom, was a British Army officer who raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic. He served in India and the Burma campaign during the Second World War, and later became an instructor in armored warfare. After the war, he worked as managing director of a concrete company and was an avid motorcycle racer.
On 6 April 2020, at the age of 99, Moore began to walk one hundred lengths of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his 100th birthday. In the 24-day course of his fundraising, he made many media appearances and became a popular household name in the UK, earning a number of accolades and attracting over 1.5 million individual donations. In recognition of his efforts, he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award at the 2020 ceremony. He performed in a cover version of the song "You'll Never Walk Alone" sung by Michael Ball, with proceeds going to the same charity. The single topped the UK music charts, making him the oldest person to achieve a UK number one.
On the morning of Moore's hundredth birthday, the total raised by his walk passed £30 million, and by the time the campaign closed at the end of that day had increased to over £32.79 million (worth almost £39 million with expected tax rebates). His birthday was marked in a number of ways, including flypasts by the Royal Air Force and the British Army. He received over 150,000 cards, and was appointed as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College. On 17 July 2020, he was personally knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle. He died on 2 February 2021 at Bedford Hospital where he was taken after being treated for pneumonia and then testing positive for Coronavirus.
Moore was admitted to Bedford Hospital on 12 January. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and treated. Ten days later he was discharged to his home in Marston Moretaine. Both before and during his stay in hospital, Moore was tested regularly for Coronavirus. On the day of his discharge, 22 January, he first tested positive for Coronavirus. He remained at home for the following nine days while receiving care and treatment. Having difficulty in breathing, Moore was re-admitted to Bedford Hospital on 31 January with COVID-19 and pneumonia. He died on 2 February, aged 100. His funeral took place on 27 February. Sir Tom asked that My Way by Frank Sinatra be played at his funeral and that his epitaph should read: "I told you I was old", in reference to comedian Spike Milligan’s famous epitaph "I told you I was ill".
Many public figures, including MPs, sportsmen, and celebrities paid tribute to Moore through their social media channels. The NHS Twitter account issued a statement saying "Thanks for everything, Sir Tom ♥"