UK’s record-breaking fundraiser, ‘hero’ Captain Tom Moore, dies aged 100

Spread the love

Britain’s Captain Tom Moore, the World War Two veteran who lifted a nation’s spirits by raising millions of pounds for health service workers battling the coronavirus, died on Tuesday aged 100 after he contracted COVID-19.

Moore struck a chord with locked-down Britain by walking around his garden with the help of a frame to raise 38.9 million pounds ($53 million) for the National Health Service.

His endeavour and wit spread joy amid the grim news of the coronavirus outbreak: Moore’s message to the world was that the sun would shine again and that the clouds would clear.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore,” his daughters said in a statement following his death on Tuesday morning at Bedford Hospital in central England.

Over the last five years, he had been receiving treatment for prostate and skin cancer, his family said. He was fighting pneumonia and was taken to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 22, unable to be vaccinated due to the other medication he was taking.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Queen Elizabeth led the tributes to Moore, whose exploits won global admiration.

“Captain Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word,” said Johnson, who spoke to Moore’s daughter Hannah to pass on his condolences. “He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world.”

READ ALSO:  Fatalities, floods after strong quake jolts Turkey, Greece

The flag above his Downing Street office was lowered to half-mast in Moore’s honour.

The queen, who knighted Moore at Windsor Castle last summer in recognition of his efforts, will send a message of private condolence to the family, Buckingham Palace said, adding the 94-year-old monarch had “very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom”.

“Her thoughts, and those of the Royal Family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world,” the palace said.

The White House also paid tribute to a man “who inspired millions through his life and his actions.”

When Moore, dressed in a blazer and tie, started his sponsored walk at his home in the village of Marston Moretaine, 80km (50 miles) north of London, he hoped to raise 1,000 pounds.

Instead, he amassed a world record sum for the National Health Service, with his quiet determination and cheerful outlook winning the hearts of the British public.

SUNSHINE DURING LOCKDOWN

“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of,” his daughters said.

READ ALSO:  Russia jails Gulag historian for 13 years, overturns earlier sentence

“Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.”

Such was his fame that his 100th birthday was marked by a message from Johnson, a promotion to the rank of colonel and flypasts by both historic planes and modern RAF helicopters above his home.

He received more than 125,000 birthday cards from well-wishers around the world and became the oldest person to reach number one in Britain’s main music singles chart, featuring on a cover version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

“I never, ever anticipated ever in my life anything like this, it really is amazing,” Moore said when he turned 100 on April 30. “Thank you very much to everyone, wherever you are.”

Raised in Yorkshire, northern England, Moore served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War Two.

Soldiers from the First Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, the successor to his own, gave him a guard of honour when he completed the 100th length of the garden on April 16, 2020.

Moore found words to cheer up the British public during lockdown, his status as a war veteran adding to his standing.

READ ALSO:  Kastellorizo, idyllic island at heart of Greece-Turkey row

“For all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away,” he said after completing his sponsored walk.

“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right, it might take time. At the end of the day we shall all be OK again.”

($1 = 0.7334 pounds)

 316 

RECOMMENDED READ:
Holocaust survivor and her rabbi son punched on London bus

Witnesses said the woman told the alleged victims, “I hate you Jews. It’s not your place. You took our money” Read more

Britain’s Karim Khan elected International Criminal Court prosecutor

Last week the court said it has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, which could lead to Read more

UK police arrest eight in probe into U.S. celebrities SIM-swapping attacks

British police said on Tuesday they had arrested eight people as part of an investigation into the SIM-swapping hijacking of Read more

Britain trial to test combining Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in two-shot regimen

Britain on Thursday launched a trial to assess the immune responses generated if doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Read more

Leave a Reply