Michael Ball and Louise Minchin break down during Captain Tom tribute


Michael Ball and Louise Minchin both broke down on BBC Breakfast today during an emotional tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore after his death aged 100 after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus

The pair began sobbing after listening back to a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone which the singer recorded with Captain Tom to gain him a No1 single on his 100th birthday. 

Ball had to pause briefly as his eyes moistened during the moving rendition, after which he said some words in memory of the veteran.  

‘I’m so grateful to him, he gave me a real focus, a purpose, at a time when I really needed it,’ he said. ‘We all know everything he’s achieved. It was about him, his humanity, his sense of duty, his kindness. 

‘And to trust me to put something together in 14 hours so we could give him a number one for his 100th is a testament to the man. He touched my life and everybody else’s life so beautifully.’ 

Minchin also began crying, leading her co-presenter Dan Walker to apologise that he could not give her tissues due to Covid rules.     

Ball had to pause briefly as his eyes moistened during a moving of You'll Never Walk alone, which the singer recorded with Captain Tom to gain him a No1 single on his 100th birthday

Ball had to pause briefly as his eyes moistened during a moving of You'll Never Walk alone, which the singer recorded with Captain Tom to gain him a No1 single on his 100th birthday

Ball had to pause briefly as his eyes moistened during a moving of You’ll Never Walk alone, which the singer recorded with Captain Tom to gain him a No1 single on his 100th birthday

Ball said: 'I'm so grateful to him, he gave me a real focus, a purpose, at a time when I really needed it. We all know everything he's achieved. It was about him, his humanity, his sense of duty, his kindness'

Ball said: 'I'm so grateful to him, he gave me a real focus, a purpose, at a time when I really needed it. We all know everything he's achieved. It was about him, his humanity, his sense of duty, his kindness'

Ball said: ‘I’m so grateful to him, he gave me a real focus, a purpose, at a time when I really needed it. We all know everything he’s achieved. It was about him, his humanity, his sense of duty, his kindness’

Inspirational war veteran and fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore has died aged 100 after being admitted to hospital

Inspirational war veteran and fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore has died aged 100 after being admitted to hospital

Inspirational war veteran and fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore has died aged 100 after being admitted to hospital

The last picture: This was the final picture of Captain Tom, released by his family on January 18 with his loved ones around him

The last picture: This was the final picture of Captain Tom, released by his family on January 18 with his loved ones around him

The last picture: This was the final picture of Captain Tom, released by his family on January 18 with his loved ones around him

Last night, the Queen sent a message to Captain Tom’s grieving relatives and told of her joy at meeting him in person when he was knighted in July. 

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

‘Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. 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.’

A tribute to Captain Tom was emblazoned on the screens at Piccadilly Circus, while the London Eye, Wembley Stadium, and Blackpool Tower were all lit up in his honour.

From Yorkshire to India: Colonel Tom Moore’s career in the military

Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS

Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS

Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS

Captain Tom Moore was conscripted into the British Army in June 1940 when he was 20, alongside all men aged 20 to 35.  

He began his military career in Otley, West Yorkshire, where he joined the 8th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment under Lieutenant Lord George Saville.

The Regiment was sent to train in Wadebridge, Cornwall where they were tasked with coastal defence amid a predicted German invasion.

A young Captain Moore was soon promoted to Corporal and sent to the officer cadet training unit in Droitwich Spa. Here, he celebrated his 21st birthday after he passed as a Second Lieutenant.

In August 1941, he was sent to the DWR headquarters in Halifax where he joined the 9th Battalion at Winchcombe.  

The infantry battalion then converted to an armoured regiment 146th Royal Armoured Corp, though the majority of the soldiers could not drive.

Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20

Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20

Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20

In October, the unit was posted to Bombay, now Mumbai, in India. The journey took six weeks by sea, with a four-day delay in Freetown, Sierra Leone and a four-day stop in Cape Town.

Captain Moore then took a train from Bombay to Poona, before arriving at Kirkee, a town now known as Khadki.

The 9th DWR formed the 50th Indian Tank Brigade under the command of Brigadier Schreiber.

Captain Moore was then asked by the Brigadier to start a motorcycling course for the Brigade due to his expertise for the sport.    

The Brigade was then ordered to move to Calcutta – the road journey was in a monsoon and took three weeks. 

His Battalion was stationed in the Lohardaga district near Ranchi. They then took part in two exercises in the Arakan before moving further east and south to Rangoon.

Captain Moore was then sent on a course at the approved vehicle depot in Bovington, England. He remained here as an instructor until it was closed. 

Downing Street lowered its flags to half-mast as Boris Johnson hailed the national hero as a ‘beacon of hope in the world’. 

And in a mark of Captain Tom’s international acclaim, Joe Biden’s White House posted a tweet paying tribute to the man ‘who inspired millions through his life and his actions.’ 

The Prime Minister said: ‘Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and in the face of this country’s deepest post war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit. 

‘It is quite astonishing that at the age of 100 he raised more than £32million for the NHS, and so gave countless others their own chance to thank the extraordinary men and women who have protected us through the pandemic.

‘He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family.’ 

Earlier Captain Tom’s daughters had announced the sad news that their father had passed away just after 4pm.

They 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.

‘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.

‘The care our father received from the NHS and carers over the last few weeks and years of his life has been extraordinary. They have been unfalteringly professional, kind and compassionate and have given us many more years with him than we ever would have imagined. 

‘Over the past few days our father spoke a great deal about the last 12 months and how proud he felt at being able to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation.

‘We politely ask for privacy at this time so we can grieve quietly as a family and remember the wonderful 100 years our father had. Thank you.’

On Sunday Ms Ingram-Moore had revealed he had been battling pneumonia over the ‘past few weeks’ before also testing positive for Covid-19 a week ago.

The former serviceman was then taken to Bedford Hospital in Bedfordshire on Sunday night after requiring ‘help with his breathing’, but was not put into intensive care.

Captain Tom had not been able to have the coronavirus vaccine because of the pneumonia. 

Originally from Keighley, West Yorkshire, Captain Tom had been on a dream holiday to Barbados on December 11 after British Airways offered him free flights to the Caribbean.

He had not been seen in public since the pre-Christmas break, but tweeted as he departed: ‘The support I have been shown in 2020 has given me renewed energy and today I get to tick something off my bucket list.’  

He first shot to international prominence in the teeth of the first wave of the pandemic last year, when on April 6, the 99-year-old set off to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

Captain Tom aimed to raise £1,000 for the NHS.

But after capturing the nation’s hearts the money donated to his Just Giving page grew exponentially and by his 100th birthday on April 30, the sum had surged to almost £33million.  

Flowers and candles were laid outside his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, last night. 

Jonny Taylor, 28, who left a bunch of flowers outside the family home, said: ‘I’ve lived in Marston for about five years now and I had no idea about Captain Tom until his heroic efforts last April.

‘I just wanted to pay respects to the remarkable person and the remarkable family as well. He will be sorely missed.’

Blackpool Tower and Wembley Stadium were among the places lit up in his honour.

Several football matches also marked his death before kick-off. 

And public figures and reams of fans from across the world paid their respects on social media.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: ‘Sir Captain Tom Moore was the very best of us. Where he walked, a nation followed.’ 

The NHS simply said ‘thank you for everything’.  

Piers Morgan, who interviewed the hero in an emotional episode of ITV’s Life Stories, tweeted: ‘RIP Captain Sir Tom Moore, 100. A magnificent man. A national hero.

‘In our darkest hour since WW2, he rallied Britain with his resilience, courage and optimism. Let us all heed his mantra in our own lives: ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’. Thank you, Tom.’

His ITV colleague Lorraine Kelley called for a statue of Captain Tom to be erected in Trafalgar Square. 

Morgan revealed the Life Stories interview was, with the approval of Captain Tom’s family, re-airing on ITV again last night. 

Captain Tom receiving his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle. He raised almost £33m.

Captain Tom receiving his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle. He raised almost £33m.

Captain Tom receiving his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle. He raised almost £33m.

The Queen, who knighted Captain Tom in July, led tributes to the great man, who died at the age of 100 yesterday , his daughters announced

The Queen, who knighted Captain Tom in July, led tributes to the great man, who died at the age of 100 yesterday , his daughters announced

Joe Biden's White House also paid its respects

Joe Biden's White House also paid its respects

The Queen, who knighted Captain Tom in July, led tributes to the great man, who died at the age of 100 yesterday, his daughters announced. Joe Biden’s White House also paid its respects

A member of the public leaves a candle outside the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore after his death was announced last night

A member of the public leaves a candle outside the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore after his death was announced last night

A member of the public leaves a candle outside the home of Captain Sir Tom Moore after his death was announced last night 

The broadcast caused a huge snowball effect, with £60,000 in donations coming in an hour after the interview on Monday April 13, and by the end of the day Sir Tom had raised £1.5million, three times his target

The broadcast caused a huge snowball effect, with £60,000 in donations coming in an hour after the interview on Monday April 13, and by the end of the day Sir Tom had raised £1.5million, three times his target

The broadcast caused a huge snowball effect, with £60,000 in donations coming in an hour after the interview on Monday April 13, and by the end of the day Sir Tom had raised £1.5million, three times his target

Politicians of all stripes came together in mourning, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailing ‘a proud Yorkshire man. A dedicated Army Officer. A tireless fundraiser. And above all, an inspiration to us all.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said ‘Britain has lost a hero’ and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab paid tribute to the ‘quite extraordinary individual who inspired and boosted the morale of the whole nation’.  

Health minister Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, said: He will be deeply mourned, not just in Mid Bedfordshire but across the whole world.’

The White House tweeted: ‘We join the United Kingdom and the world in honoring the memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who inspired millions through his life and his actions.’ 

Among the slate of achievements in the extraordinary final year of his life, Captain Tom became the oldest person to reach Number One in the charts, with a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball.

Ball told the One Show last night: ‘When I got to spend that time with him at his home, that’s when the real Tom came alive because he was so on the ball and so quick,’ the singer told The One Show.

‘He was staggered by what had happened but he’s from that generation that they took it in their stride. He was thrilled by the way everything had gone and was so proud of it.’

He was also the oldest person to appear on the front cover of GQ magazine, pictured with his medals proudly pinned to a tuxedo and draped in the Union flag.   

Dylan Jones, editor in Chief of GQ, said last night: ‘Captain Tom was one of the heroes of 2020, and he was the first person we thought of celebrating when we started planning last year’s Men Of The Year Awards.

‘Not only was he the oldest person ever to grace our cover, he was one of the most gracious. He was a hero, a genuine old-fashioned hero, and I feel blessed that we were in his orbit, albeit for a very brief time.’ 

Rowland White, the editor of Captain Tom’s autobiography, said the fundraiser ‘packed more into the last year of his life than most of us manage in a lifetime’. 

The London Eye is lit up with the colours of the Union flag following the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore

The London Eye is lit up with the colours of the Union flag following the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore

The London Eye is lit up with the colours of the Union flag following the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore

Wembley Stadium tweeted: 'Tonight, Wembley Stadium joins the nation in remembering and celebrating the life and achievements of @captaintommoore'

Wembley Stadium tweeted: 'Tonight, Wembley Stadium joins the nation in remembering and celebrating the life and achievements of @captaintommoore'

Wembley Stadium tweeted: ‘Tonight, Wembley Stadium joins the nation in remembering and celebrating the life and achievements of @captaintommoore’

The Union flags above Downing Street have been lowered to half mast to honour Captain Sir Tom Moore who died yesterday

The Union flags above Downing Street have been lowered to half mast to honour Captain Sir Tom Moore who died yesterday

The Union flags above Downing Street have been lowered to half mast to honour Captain Sir Tom Moore who died yesterday

Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in April) became a national treasure during the first coronavirus lockdown after he raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday

Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in April) became a national treasure during the first coronavirus lockdown after he raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday

Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in April) became a national treasure during the first coronavirus lockdown after he raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday

In a statement shared on Twitter, Liz Lees, chief nurse at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘It has been our immense privilege to care for Captain Sir Tom Moore.

‘We share our deepest condolences and sympathies with his family and loved ones at this incredibly sad time.

‘We’d also like to say thank you, and pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore for the remarkable contribution he has made to the NHS.’ 

His daughter Ms Ingram-Moore, a recruitment officer, previously revealed the fundraising idea to walk 100 laps came about after her husband Colin challenged his father-in-law to do the feat. 

Ms Ingram-Moore revealed how her father had a fall in their kitchen at the end of 2018 and had bought himself a treadmill to rehabilitate after he fractured his hip. 

The veteran came out with his walker one lockdown weekend and her husband said: ‘Carry on walking, Tom, we’ll give you a pound a lap. Do 100 by your 100th birthday.’ 

The family were forced to cancel his birthday party in April because of Covid-19 restrictions but set up a JustGiving page in the hope they would raise £1,000. 

She told how the total went to £2,000 overnight and £12million a month later after Sir Tom featured on BBC Breakfast and Michael Ball spoke to him on BBC Radio Two.  

She described how the family were ‘not eating or sleeping’ to manage the technology, phone calls and emails while keeping the recruitment business going. 

‘Dad could see we were so tired and he said: ”Should we make this stop? I’m worried for you’. It was a watershed moment,’ Mrs Ingram-Moore said. 

She continued: ‘We said: ‘No, because what you are doing is having such a positive impact on people around the world.

‘We just have to manage it.’ 

Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in his BA plane seat) and his family jetted off to Barbados after British Airways offered him free flight in December

Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in his BA plane seat) and his family jetted off to Barbados after British Airways offered him free flight in December

Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in his BA plane seat) and his family jetted off to Barbados after British Airways offered him free flight in December

Sir Tom Moore (pictured front) along with his grandchildren Benji (left), Georgia (middle left), his daughter Hannah (middle right) and her husband Colin Ingram (right) as they enjoyed the Barbados sunshine. This was to be the final photo of the veteran before his death today

Sir Tom Moore (pictured front) along with his grandchildren Benji (left), Georgia (middle left), his daughter Hannah (middle right) and her husband Colin Ingram (right) as they enjoyed the Barbados sunshine. This was to be the final photo of the veteran before his death today

Sir Tom Moore (pictured front) along with his grandchildren Benji (left), Georgia (middle left), his daughter Hannah (middle right) and her husband Colin Ingram (right) as they enjoyed the Barbados sunshine

How Sir Captain Tom’s heroic actions boosted Britain amid lockdown 

Sir Captain Tom Moore hoped to raise £1,000 for the NHS, but ended up capturing the hearts of the nation. 

Here’s how 100 laps around his garden became a knighthood…

April 2020 The army veteran begins fundraising in the hope of raising £1,000 for the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic. He wants to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30.  

April 14 More than £2million is donated.

April 15 The total rises to £7million as more than 340,000 people show their support. 

April 16  He completes his 100 laps – meaning he walked an average of six laps a day – and reveals he’s going to keep going to raise as much as possible. Both the Prime Minister and the Royal Family congratulate him. 

April 24  Sir Captain Tom is the oldest person ever to reach Number One in the Top 40 Charts with his cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone. He performs it alongside singer Michael Ball and The NHS Voices of Care Choir.

April 30 The fundraising page hits £32million on his 100th birthday. He is made an honorary colonel and enjoys a military flypast. 

July 17 The Queen awards him a knighthood in a special engagement.

September He writes bestselling autobiography Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day and signs a deal to film a biopic of his life. 

October 5 – Captain Tom starts a podcast to tackle isolation among Britain’s elderly. 

December  He ticks a holiday to Barbados off his bucket list. 

January 31, 2021 He is admitted to hospital amid an intense battle with pneumonia, his family reveal. 

February 2, 2021 Sir Captain Tom’s death is announced days after he tests positive for coronavirus. 

 

His fundraising led to a slew of personal honours and he was knighted by the Queen and also made an honorary army colonel.

The Royal honour would have seemed entirely unexpected for the 20-year-old who had been conscripted into the army back in 1940.

His career in the services saw him promoted to Corporal, then Second Lieutenant before a captain in 1944.  

He served in India and the Burma campaign during the Second World War.

He had been 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). 

Then after he was selected for officer training he rose to the rank of captain, later being posted to 9 DWR in India.

In his later military years he served and fought in the Arakan in western Burma and went with his regiment to Sumatra after the Japanese forces surrendered in 1945.

Afterwards he became an instructor in armoured warfare in Bovington, Dorset.

The MOD now has a page devoted to him on its website, calling him ‘An inspirational role model’

His dedication to service saw him wear his medals on his fundraising walks, explaining ‘It’s important.

It shows that I was part of a very important and super army at the time who were all battling for our country, which we’re all so proud of.

‘I still very proud of our country.

‘There is nowhere like ours.’

In July the Queen came out for her first official engagement since lockdown to knight him in person for his incredible achievement.

Windsor Castle saw a ‘unique ceremony’ where he had the honour bestowed upon him.

He said afterwards: ‘I am absolutely overawed.

‘This is such a high award and to get it from Her Majesty as well – what more can anyone wish for? This has been an absolutely magnificent day for me.’

Incredibly his fundraising fame was not the first time he had enjoyed the spotlight in front of millions of people.

An unearthed clip showed the then Colonel Tom, aged 63, charm the audience as he chatted to the late Terry Wogan, while appearing on Blankety Blank in 1983.

His good nature was clear as he made the host and audience laugh while telling them he was from a ‘good place’ called Tipps End.

he then Colonel Tom, aged 63, charm the audience as he chatted to the late Terry Wogan, while appearing on Blankety Blank

he then Colonel Tom, aged 63, charm the audience as he chatted to the late Terry Wogan, while appearing on Blankety Blank

he then Colonel Tom, aged 63, charm the audience as he chatted to the late Terry Wogan, while appearing on Blankety Blank 

‘The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable’: Captain Tom’s daughters tell of their pride

‘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.

‘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.

‘The care our father received from the NHS and carers over the last few weeks and years of his life has been extraordinary. They have been unfalteringly professional, kind and compassionate and have given us many more years with him than we ever would have imagined.

‘Over the past few days our father spoke a great deal about the last 12 months and how proud he felt at being able to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation.

‘We politely ask for privacy at this time so we can grieve quietly as a family and remember the wonderful 100 years our father had. Thank you.’

He only managed to walk away with the consolation prize; its infamous chequebook and pen, after appearing on a Christmas special version of the programme.

But in recent times Captain Tom became GQ magazine’s oldest cover star and even scored a number one chart hit with Michael Ball in a charity recording of You’ll Never Walk Alone.  

In an interview with the publication after his award, the veteran opened up about his 20-year first marriage, his beloved late wife Pamela’s battle with dementia, and how he wants to be there for ‘lonely people in need of help’.

He broke down as he discussed the moment he realised he would have to put his wife into a care home. 

He told the magazine: ‘Taking her… she didn’t really know what we were doing. And I felt… I felt I was letting her down. 

‘I realise it was the best that could be done. I realise my effort wasn’t enough.’

He also joked about installing two stair lifts at his home and how he enjoys ‘lots of sugar’ on his porridge every morning, ‘because cholesterol is the least of his worries at 100’. 

The hero also wrote an autobiography and is helping to set up a charity. 

He also launched a £35.95 bottle of gin, his own podcast and there is even a movie in the works after UK companies Fred Films and Powder Keg Pictures bought the rights to the feature about the former British Army captain. 

The centenarian had smiled as he sat in a plane seat emblazoned with his name in a picture shared to his official Twitter page as he went to Barbados in his last public appearance.

Poignantly he revealed the flight ticked an item ‘off his bucket list’.

He said at the time: ‘I never thought that, at the age of 100, I would get to travel again. I’m so grateful to everyone who has made this possible. 

‘The support I have been shown in 2020 has given me renewed energy and today I get to tick something off my bucket list.’

The war hero who became a national treasure by walking 100 laps of his garden: How Captain Sir Tom Moore went from fighting in Burma to raising £33m for the NHS and being knighted by the Queen

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s death yesterday aged 100 marks the end of an extraordinary life that saw him go from WWII hero to quiz show star and then a national treasure after walking 100 laps of his garden to raise £33m for the NHS.

The grandfather-of-four’s service in World War Two took him across Asia and the Far East, including tours in India, Burma and Sumatra.

Back in Blighty, spells as an Army tank instructor were interspersed with work at the family building business – while in his spare time he enjoyed riding motorbikes.

The Yorkshire grammar school lad was to shoot to national attention in 1983, when he charmed the audience on hit BBC show Blankety Blank.

Finally, after his heroics during the coronavirus pandemic, he would be knighted by the Queen, made an honorary member of the England cricket team, and be lauded by Britain’s best-known celebrities and politicians. 

He also became GQ magazine’s oldest cover star and scored a number one hit with Michael Ball in a charity recording of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

But though his family yesterday rightly recalled his life as an ‘exciting adventure’ it also saw darker moments, including a sexless first marriage that ended in annulment.

In his autobiography, Captain Tom said he had ‘given up on love’ until aged 50 when he met his beloved second wife, Pamela. They went on to have two children, and the veteran went on to become a proud grandfather of four. 

Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS

Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS

Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS

Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20

Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20

Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20

Captain Tom was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on April 30 1920.

He attended Keighley Grammar School and later completed an apprenticeship as a civil engineer before joining the Army.

He 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).

In 1940, he was selected for officer training and rose to the rank of captain, later being posted to 9 DWR in India.

He served and fought in the Arakan in western Burma, since renamed Rakhine State, 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 also worked for his family’s building company and later became manager at a concrete company.

In his free time he was a keen motorcycle racer and has admitted receiving a speeding fine while in his late 90s. He also appeared on popular BBC television quiz show Blankety Blank in 1983.

He wrote frankly about a sexless first marriage that ended in annulment.

Although Moore was 50 when they met, he had a 40-year marriage with his second wife, Pamela, and visited her every day while she was in a care home with dementia.

In a BBC interview, he spoke of his distress about her mental deterioration and pity for other residents who had no visitors.

After she died, he moved in with his daughter, Hannah, and his son-in-law Colin Ingram and grandchildren Benji and Georgia in the village of Marston Moretaine. 

Captain Tom suffered a broken hip in 2018 and also required treatment for skin cancer of the head.

His family said this inspired him to do something to help the NHS, and he decided to walk 100 laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine before his 100th birthday to raise funds.

Captain Tom started his challenge in early April 2020 with the initial target of raising £1,000 for NHS Charities Together.

Ten days later, assisted by his walking frame, he had completed 100 laps and raised more than £20 million.

‘It really is absolutely enormous isn’t it?’ he said at the time.

‘That sum of money is very difficult to imagine but it’s coming in so well.’

He vowed to keep on walking laps of the 25-metre circuit, and did so until his birthday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his ‘heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation’, the Duke of Cambridge praised him as a ‘one-man fundraising machine’ and he even released a charity single. 

A long list of celebrities praised Captain Tom’s efforts, including David Walliams, Sir Mo Farah, Lewis Hamilton and Gary Lineker, along with politicians and royals including Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the Duke of Sussex.   

Captain Tom with a Scott bike after the war. It was made in Shipley and he said he raced in Yorkshire after the war

Captain Tom with a Scott bike after the war. It was made in Shipley and he said he raced in Yorkshire after the war

Captain Tom with a Scott bike after the war. It was made in Shipley and he said he raced in Yorkshire after the war

Captain Tom’s triumph sparked off an extraordinary few months for the veteran which saw him feted as a national treasure. 

His cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone, together with singer Michael Ball, reached number one in the charts, making him the oldest artist ever to have a UK number one single.

A flypast of a Spitfire and a Hurricane marked his 100th birthday, and he was made an honorary colonel.

Speaking about the flypast, Captain Tom said: ‘I’m one of the few people here who’ve seen Hurricanes and Spitfires flying past in anger.

‘Fortunately today they’re all flying peacefully.’

He raised a total of £32.7 million, with donations from 1.5 million supporters, before his fundraising page was closed at midnight following his 100th birthday.

He started his challenge a little over three weeks earlier, and he encouraged people to continue to donate to NHS Charities Together.

Captain Tom rounded off 2020 with a trip to Barbados with his family, and his fundraising efforts were marked during the New Year drone display in London, as his figure appeared over the O2 Arena. 

He was the guest of honour at the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber in Harrogate, set up to help with increased numbers of hospital admissions during the pandemic, and he appeared by video link.

So many people sent him cards to mark his 100th birthday that a dedicated sorting office was set up at his grandson’s school.

He was sent more than 140,000 birthday cards, including a signed card from the Queen. 

Captain Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, a recruitment officer, from Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, revealed the fundraising idea came about after her husband Colin challenged his father-in-law to to do 100 laps before his birthday

Captain Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, a recruitment officer, from Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, revealed the fundraising idea came about after her husband Colin challenged his father-in-law to to do 100 laps before his birthday

Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, a recruitment officer, from Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, revealed the fundraising idea came about after her husband Colin challenged his father-in-law to to do 100 laps before his birthday

A train was named after him, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London, and the postbox outside his village Post Office was painted NHS blue in honour of his efforts.

Captain Tom, who was a cricket fan, was also made an honorary member of the England cricket team.

‘People keep saying what I have done is remarkable, however it’s actually what you have done for me which is remarkable,’ he said at the time.

‘The past three weeks have put a spring back in my step.

‘I have renewed purpose and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this exciting adventure.’

His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said on his 100th birthday: ‘I think we know that he has touched the hearts of many people around the world.

‘He’s definitely engaged us all and given us hope and unity.

‘So, there will be legacy.’

The Captain Tom Foundation was established by his family to ‘spread hope and ease loneliness’, and his Walk With Tom campaign had the same goal during England’s second lockdown in November 2020.

Captain Tom helped raise spirits during the coronavirus crisis, saying in one TV appearance: ‘To all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment: The sun will shine on you again, and the clouds will go away.’

His motto, which signed off many posts from his popular Twitter account, was ‘tomorrow will be a good day’. 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk