Heroic NHS fundraiser and army veteran passes away, aged 100
— 5 minute read — By Derry Salter
On 31st January, Captain Sir Tom Moore was admitted to Bedford Hospital; he tested positive for COVID-19 whilst battling pneumonia, meaning he was unable to vaccinated. When this news broke, the whole nation hoped that the hero would be spared. Sadly, on 2nd February, the inspirational Captain Sir Tom Moore passed away, aged 100.
The Queen lead tributes to Captain Sir Tom by “recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined the Queen in celebrating the life of the national inspiration, referring to him as “a hero in the truest sense of the word…he embodied the triumph of the human spirit”. The flag above 10 Downing Street flies at half-mast in tribute.
The army veteran quickly became a national treasure after walking 100 laps of his garden in April last year with the aim to raise money for NHS Charities Together. He originally set out to raise £1,000 for charity, but eventually raised a staggering £39 million. The money was made up of 1.5 million donations that spanned over 53 countries.
Captain Sir Tom Moore was unreservedly strong and his invaluable efforts shifted perceptions of the older generation. The heart-warming reason behind his mission was to profess his gratitude for NHS, who cared for him as he battled skin cancer, broke his hip, and lost his wife to dementia. All of his actions were in a testament to the NHS and his indomitable efforts to support them were a beacon of light during the gloomy first lockdown. It is without a doubt that the army veteran has left the world a better place.
On his 100th birthday, he received over 150,000 cards as well as being made an honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. There was also a fly-past above his home by the RAF’s collection of Hurricane and Spitfire planes from the Battle of Britain squadron.
In July 2020, he was knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle for his extraordinary contribution to society. Sir Moore continued to break records as he sung a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with theatre star Michael Ball. The song shot to Number 1 in the UK charts, making him the oldest person to achieve such a position. His autobiography, Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day, debuted in the autumn of 2020 and a film is set to premiere celebrating his life. The last few months of the 100-year-old’s life were spent with his family, with British Airways funding a holiday to Barbados in gratitude to his contribution to the NHS.
Even in his younger years, Captain Sir Tom was one of Britain’s finest. The national hero was born in West Yorkshire in 1920, and was the son of a builder and primary school headteacher. He was educated at Keighley Boy’s Grammar School where he soon became an apprentice civil engineer.
At the beginning of World War Two, he joined the army and served in India and Myanmar. He enlisted in the 8th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and was selected for officer training. In 1941, Moore was commissioned to second lieutenant and soon became a temporary captain where he trained army motorcyclists. After the war, he worked as an instructor at the armoured vehicles school of fighting at Bovington Camp in Dorset. He then returned to life as a salesman, then a managing director of a concrete products company. Moore had a brief brush with fame on Christmas 1983 when he appeared on the BBC television quiz show, Blankety Blank.
Captain Sir Tom Moore proved that even aged 99, you can still have your best and most meaningful adventures in front of you. He put a human face on the nation’s collective effort to defeat something so inhuman, and will be remembered as an iconic figure in this tumultuous period of history.
Until the very end, Captain Sir Tom Moore was a fighter and will always be remembered for his strength and optimism. He will be celebrated for his remarkable achievements and persistence in helping others. At 6pm on 3rd February, the nation is set to clap in remembrance.
He has given the country hope in such dark times. In his own words, ‘tomorrow will be a good day’.
Captain Sir Tom Moore remains an inspiration to all; embodying the very best of humanity and proving that difficult times will always be overcome by compassion and spirit.