I’m sure most of you will have heard of Captain Sir Tom Moore who, last year, raised an astonishing amount of money for NHS charities in the UK in the lead up to his 100th birthday. His idea had been to walk around his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday, and his original aim had been to try to raise £1,000.
Once the media got hold of the story it went viral, and by the end of his birthday the total amount of donations exceeded £32 MILLION!
Yesterday we received the sad news of his passing; apparently yet another victim of this horrible pandemic.
Captain Sir Thomas Moore (30 April 1920 – 2 February 2021), popularly known as Captain Tom, was a British Army officer and businessman known for raising money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moore served in India and the Burma campaign during the Second World War, and later became an instructor in armoured 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 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 invested as a Knight Bachelor 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 COVID-19.
Rest in Peace, Captain Tom. You were an example to us all and a true gentleman.