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Coronavirus: Captain Tom Moore to be knighted after raising £33m for NHS

Coronavirus: Captain Tom Moore to be knighted after raising £33m for NHS

Published by May Norman at 6:52am 20th May 2020.

Tom Moore becomes a Sir after fundraising efforts

  • Colonel Tom Moore, who's raised around £33m for the NHS, is to be knighted.
  • The Second World War veteran completed 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
  • Downing Street says it recommended for the Yorkshireman to be exceptionally honoured by the Queen, and that's now been approved.

Captain Tom Moore, who raised almost £33m for the NHS as it battled to cope with coronavirus, is to be knighted, Boris Johnson has said.

The 100-year-old World War Two veteran, who raised the extraordinary sum of money by walking up and down his garden, said:

"I am absolutely overwhelmed. Never for one moment could I have imagined to be awarded with such a great honour.

"I'd like to thank Her Majesty the Queen, the prime minister and the Great British public. I will remain at your service.

"This started as something small and I've been overwhelmed by the gratitude and love from the British public and beyond.

"We must take this opportunity to recognise our frontline heroes of the National Health Service who put their lives at risk everyday to keep us safe."

The prime minister, who recommended the award, which the Queen approved, called Captain Moore a "true national treasure" who "provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus".

His knighthood comes just weeks after he was made an honorary colonel at Harrogate Army Foundation College to mark his centenary and fundraising efforts.

When the veteran set out to walk 100 laps of his garden in Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday on 30 April, he was aiming to raise £1,000.

But his determination to complete the challenge while using a walking frame captured the public imagination during the pandemic and within days he had raised tens of millions of pounds.

By the time his big day came round, he had raised more than £30m for NHS Charities Together.

Captain Tom Moore and Hannah Ingram-Moore
Captain Tom Moore open the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate in April

Sir Tom enlisted into the eighth battalion of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (8 DWR), an infantry unit that was converted to operate Churchill tanks as part of the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC).

After being promoted to captain, he served in India and Burma and went with his regiment to Sumatra after the Japanese surrender.

After the war he returned to the UK and worked as an instructor at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington, Dorset.

He lived in Kent for many years before moving to Bedfordshire to be with his family in 2007.