Second World War veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore became a national hero throughout the pandemic after he raised more than £32m for the health service by walking 100 laps of his garden with his zimmer frame. Captain Sir Tom has died after battling pneumonia and testing positive for coronavirus last week. Naturally, Sir Tom would have been first in line for a Covid vaccine but he had not yet received the jab due to the medication he was on for pneumonia.
In a statement, his daughters Hannah and Lucy said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime. We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.
“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.”
Captain Tom’s passing has been met with an outpouring of tributes across the country.
She said: “On behalf of everyone in the NHS, I want to pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore who has been the model of all that has been good about our country’s response to COVID-19.
“People rightly marvel at the tens of millions of pounds Captain Sir Tom raised for the NHS.
“But for me his biggest achievement and most important contribution to helping my fellow nurses, doctors and all those in the NHS responding to coronavirus, has been how he brought the country together and gave us all a boost when we most needed it.
“I also want to echo the thanks of Hannah and Lucy to my colleagues who have cared for Captain Sir Tom in his final days, and I am proud that the NHS was able to offer Captain Sir Tom and his family compassion, skill and dedication when they most needed it.”
Captain Sir Tom became a national hero after he pledged at the age of 99 to walk 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise £1,000 for the NHS.
The World War 2 veteran ended up raising £20m two days before his birthday after his pledge inspired millions of people across the country.
On 30 April he celebrated the milestone birthday by completing his final lap at home in Bedfordshire having raised more than £30m for NHS Charities Together.
His heroic 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.
He said at the time: “When we started off with this exercise, we didn’t anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money. It’s really amazing.”
Captain Sir Tom evoked wartime imagery when describing the pandemic.
“We’re a little bit like having a war at the moment,” he said.
“But 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.”