Captain Sir Tom Moore, a Second World War veteran, who inspired the United Kingdom by raising millions for the NHS, has died aged 100, his family says. This comes a few days, after Captain Sir Tom, contracted coronavirus and was receiving treatment for pneumonia.
Captain Sir Tom became somewhat of a national treasure and a household name after raising more than £32m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden with his zimmer frame.
He first hit the headlines on the 6th April, just two weeks after the first nationwide lockdown began in the UK, when he pledged to walk 100 laps, before his 100th birthday to raise £1,000 for the NHS, which is when he captured the hearts of the nation all over, with nurses thanking him in the various Clap for Carers initiative, and with street artists dedicating murals to him. Captain Sir Tom had collected £20m two days before his 100th birthday.
His efforts were rewarded with a military flypast, the title of honorary colonel, messages from the Queen, prime minister and thousands of birthday cards from well-wishers all over the country.
Captain Sir Tom, during one of his many interviews had compared the coronavirus pandemic to wartime. “We’re a little bit like having a war at the moment,” he said, adding that “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.”
Soon after he completed his walk, he featured on a cover version of You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball, which topped the charts and made him the oldest person in the UK to ever have a number one single.
In July, he was knighted by the Queen at a special outdoor, socially distant ceremony at Windsor Castle, where Her Majesty used a sword that belonged to her father George VI.
She was overheard saying to the centenarian: “Thank you so much, an amazing amount of money you raised. One hundred is a great age,” she added.
Captain Sir Tom’s charity work was cemented with his own charity The Captain Tom Foundation last year. An image of him also featured in the New Year’s Eve firework display in central London.
At the end of last month, his family had announced that he had been taken to hospital, after testing positive for COVID-19 the week before, and after he was struggling with his breathing. Captain Sir Tom was not vaccinated as he was receiving pneumonia treatment, which could put him in risk.