The Speaker
Sunday, 19 May 2024 – 18:46

The life of inspirational Captain Tom Moore

Captain Tom Moore – the former soldier and national hero – who raised almost £33 million for NHS charities during the first lockdown has died at the age of 100. Tom Moore was knighted by the Queen for his heroic efforts last year and the Monarch has led tributes; “recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world”.

It is believed that he had been battling Pneumonia for a number of weeks, before being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 last week. His family said that due to the medication he was receiving, he was unable to have the vaccine.

Captain Tom Moore – later receiving an honorary promotion to Colonel following his money-raising efforts – was born in Yorkshire in 1920, joining the army in 1940 at the beginning of the Second World War. In 1941 he became a member of the Royal Armour Corps, before being transferred to India, where he was tasked with running a training programme for army motorcyclists.

He was promoted in 1942, before gaining the temporary title of Captain in 1944. He later served in Burma (now Myanmar) where he contracted Dengue fever. Upon return to the UK he was demobbed in 1946 and returned to civilian life.

Throughout his life he worked in a number of professions, including as a salesman; later becoming the managing director of a concrete manufacturing company. He led a management buy-out during his time as company director.

He appeared on the Christmas edition of Blankety Blank in 1983, whilst also racing motorcycles; winning a number of trophies throughout his career.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – aged 99 – Captain Tom Moore sought to raise money for NHS Charities Together, to support a number of organisations helping NHS staff and patients during the pandemic.

He aimed to raise £1000 by completing 100 lengths of his garden, a target that was quickly surpassed; raised instead to £5000 and subsequently to £500,000. Captain Tom Moore gained national attention for his efforts, with many highlighting how he invoked the spirit of togetherness that was needed to get through the coronavirus pandemic. He ended up raising more than £30 million.

The First Battalion of the Yorkshire regiment – which his old regiment had been merged into – performed a guard of honour for him. 

The JustGiving page set up for his campaign broke all previous records, more than 1.5 million people donated to support his efforts, with Tom Moore raising almost £33 million – a total of £39 million being raised due to Gift Aid tax rebates.

A number of other individuals, inspired by Tom Moore, set out to complete similar challenges to raise money for NHS charities – with the total amount raised due to Captain Tom Moore likely much higher.

A record by Michael Ball in honour of Tom Moore – with the Captain recording spoken words for the track – reached number one in the charts, with all proceeds supporting NHS charities. His record was number 1 on his 100th birthday, making him the oldest person to ever feature at the top of the charts.

Captain Tom Moore has since had a number of books released about his life, including a children’s book telling of his inspiring story.

He received a number of honorary awards for his efforts including being given the freedom of London, a promotion to Colonel and a knighthood – which he received from the Queen in the summer of 2020.

Upon turning 100 on 30th April 2020, he received more than 150,000 cards, including a handwritten card from the Queen, as well as a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Upon his passing, there has been an outpouring of support for the inspiring fundraiser, with Boris Johnson and Keir Stamer amongst those highlighting the life he had led and the inspiration he was to everyone during the coronavirus pandemic.”>February 


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