The Last Post for Captain Tom

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 03 February 2021 > In the News

Captain Sir Tom Moore, the WWII veteran who raised British spirits during lockdown 1 with his sponsored walk to raise funds for the NHS before his 100th birthday, died in hospital on 2 February.

"Captain Tom", as he soon became known, became the positive role model people really needed during the pandemic. He had originally planned to try to raise £1000 by walking 100 laps of his garden in England before his birthday. He wanted to thank the NHS for the treatment he had received for cancer and a broken hip. But when his story went viral, he raised a total of £38.9 million for NHS charities.

His achievement was honoured in many ways. The Army made him an honorary colonel. The RAF did a flypast on his birthday, to make up for his party having to be cancelled because of COVID. And he was knighted by the Queen, becoming Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Thousands of people from around the world sent him birthday cards: 150,000 of them! It took 150 volunteers to open and display them all at his grandson's school.

In September, Captain Tom and his family launched a charitable foundation to continue helping the NHS but also support other causes close to his heart: championing education and equality and combatting loneliness.

The foundation's motto,  is "Tomorrow Will be a Good Day", also the title of his autobiography. There is a moving tribute to Captain Tom by his editor on the Penguin site.

Combatting loneliness was also the theme of his Number One single, recorded with Michael Ball and a NHS choir: a cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone".

In the last few weeks, Captain Tom developed pneumonia, and tested  positive for COVID. He was at home almost to the last, and died peacefully surrounded by his family. His final year was an apt climax to an eventful and fulfilling life and his indomitable spirit will be missed by millions.