‘I fought during a war and they are now fighting in a war too’: Captain Tom Moore is asked to open Nightingale hospital in his native Yorkshire as he scores a Number One charity single and fundraising passes £25million
- Captain Moore will praise efforts of doctors and nurses at the hospital opening
- Second World War hero will say he has been ‘amazed’ by people’s generosity
- Fundraising hero Capt Tom Moore’s charity song shot to top of the iTunes chart
- He collaborated with singer Michael Ball for a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone
- It narrowly pipped Vera Lynn’s stirring rendition of We’ll Meet Again to top spot
- Capt Moore has raised over £25million for the NHS, despite aiming for £1,000
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Captain Tom Moore has been invited to open the Nightingale hospital in his native Yorkshire after he raised £25million for the NHS.
The Second World War hero will appear via video-link at the hospital next week to praise the efforts of doctors and nurses and say he has been ‘amazed by the kindness and generosity of the UK public’ .
The 99-year-old pensioner and former tank commander captured the nation’s heart after announcing he would walk 100 lengths of his garden to raise £1,000 for the health service. He completed the walk ahead of schedule – on Thursday – and raised millions.
Captain Moore then joined forces with singer Michael Ball for a charity rendition of 1945 classic You’ll Never Walk Alone, which has shot to the top of iTunes UK.
It has pipped Vera Lynn’s stirring rendition of We’ll Meet Again to the top spot, which was referenced by the Queen in her message to the nation.
Captain Tom Moore will praise the efforts of doctors and nurses when he opens the hospital via video-link next week. He is currently receiving an hourly salute in Piccadilly Circus, London, for his efforts to raise money for the NHS
The Queen’s message to the nation is also displayed on the board in Piccadilly Circus, London
The 99-year-old war veteran is raising millions for NHS Charities Together amid the coronavirus pandemic, after initially expecting to raise just £1,000 by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday
At the opening of NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber next week, in the Harrogate Convention Centre, he will say: ‘I think the amount raised demonstrates just how much we all value the dedication and sacrifices made by our NHS workers.
‘I have fought during a war and they are now fighting in a war too.
He will add: ‘I’m honoured to be opening the NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber and to get to thank many of the NHS workers directly.
‘I know that having extra beds available for the sick, if needed will be reassuring to those workers, as it would have been to me when I was on the front line.’
The £25million raised so far by Captain Moore will buy food parcels and counselling sessions for NHS staff as well as electronic tablets to let patients talk to their loved ones.
The chairman of NHS Charities Together, Ian Lush, said its around 160 members had already received £35,000 each, with the money covering staff well-being and helping patients and their families.
Mr Lush told the BBC: ‘For example we’re paying for extra counselling for staff because they’re going through a really traumatic time, we’re paying for food packages, for well-being packs they can pick up after a shift and take home so they don’t have to worry about shopping.
Captain Tom Moore’s charity single, a collaboration with singer Michael Ball, has gone straight to the top of the UK iTunes chart
Robert Jenrick says Captain Tom Moore will be guest of honour at Nightingale opening
Second World War hero Captain Tom Moore will be the guest of honour when the new NHS Nightingale Hospital for the Yorkshire region is opened in Harrogate next week.
The 99-year-old’s bid to raise money for the NHS by walking laps of his garden hit £23 million this afternoon – less than two weeks after he started the challenge.
Mr Jenrick thanked Captain Moore for his fundraising efforts for the NHS, stating: ‘We have all been humbled by the gestures, large and small, by people across the country to show support for those working so hard to protect the NHS and save lives.
‘None more so than Captain Tom Moore, who has raised an astonishing £23 million this week for NHS charities.
‘I can’t think of a more worthy person to be the guest of honour at the opening of the new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate next week.’
‘And for patients things like electronic tablets they can use in the wards, we’re paying for extra WiFi as well, so they can communicate with their loved ones who aren’t able to visit them. And that’s making a real difference too.’
Talking about conversations with frontline staff, he said: ‘They were also the people who came to us and said “It’s tragic that these patients, sometimes at the end of their lives, can’t talk to their families, if you can get us some tablets to have on the wards and pay for better WiFi then we can arrange for them to at least see their families and communicate with them”.’
‘So that very much came from the front line.’
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said Captain Moore would be ‘guest of honour’ at the opening of the hospital.
‘(It’s) the least we can do to thank him for his inspiring service and example,’ he said. ‘And no doubt there will be further ways in which we will be able to express our gratitude.’
‘Just like the amazing campaign Captain Moore has inspired, the Nightingales are a symbol of how people have come together as part of a nationwide effort to prepare – should they be needed now or in the months to come – for the greatest global health emergency in more than a century.’
The veteran collaborated with singer Michael Ball (pictured) for a heartwarming version of You’ll Never Walk Alone
Ball and Capt Moore’s (pictured) single has narrowly pipped Vera Lynn’s stirring rendition of We’ll Meet Again to the top spot
Captain Tom has been raising money for NHS Charities Together to help frontline medics battle the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 14,576 in the UK.
After capturing the hearts of the nation, Captain Tom joined forces with Ball to create their own uplifting version of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
The pair recorded the duet of the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein tune, which has become an anthem for medical staff during the pandemic, featuring the NHS Voices of Care Choir.
The song was instigated after Ball spoke to Captain Moore on BBC Breakfast and was recorded within 24 hours
The track has a spoken work introduction from Captain Moore, where he says: ‘Hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark.’
It has already climbed to the top of the iTunes chart ahead of the Second World War veteran’s 100th birthday on April 30.
How Captain Tom and Michael Ball pulled a hit record together in 24 hours
After being inspired by Captain Tom’s outstanding charitable efforts, Michael Ball devised a plan.
‘That was the exact moment I got the idea. I was listening to him (Captain Tom) mouthing along to it – and singing along to it – and I said “ah Tom we should make it a duet,”‘ Ball explained.
‘But I came off air and thought, well I have got a few minutes… let’s see if we can do this.’
Captain Tom’s words on BBC Breakfast were quickly edited into place, as Ball and the backing choir went about providing the foundations for the iconic track.
Ball continued: ‘So I made some calls – called my record producer. ‘I had the idea the NHS voices of care could form the background voices for us.
‘Crucial though was talking to Tom and to (his daughter) Hannah.’
Using the plentiful time provided by lockdown restrictions, Ball and his producers quickly got to work on the track and brought the creation to life.
The track was recorded in different segments from various locations due to people remaining at home. It was then stitched together by producers and smoothed out to create the finished product.
Capt Tom said: ‘I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be releasing a single with Michael Ball, but I also never thought it possible for me to walk in the garden and raise millions.
‘So why not sing, spread some cheer and again – raise money for our national heroes. NHS this one is for you!’
Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Captain Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma
Captain Moore was posted to India where he fought in the Arakan Campaign of 1942 to 1943 during the Second World War
Michael Ball sang You’ll Never Walk Alone from his home to Captain Moore on Thursday, after telling him: ‘It’s an extraordinary achievement. I’ve been trying to think of a song which encapsulates your achievement and what you have done for us’
The country has taken to the war veteran, with this sign in Piccadilly Circus in central London congratulating him
West End star Ball, 57, had called for their joint single to reach number one in time for Cpt Moore’s birthday.
He said: ‘There isn’t one of us who has failed to be inspired by Captain Tom Moore. It is one of the single greatest honours of my career to sing with this genuine national hero, supported by the incredible NHS Voices for Care Choir.
From Yorkshire to India: Captain Tom Moore’s career in the military
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.
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.
‘Not only is he the biggest single fundraiser in British history and a decorated war veteran, he is the most charming man you could ever wish to meet.
‘Hopefully he can now add singing star to his many talents. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could give him a number one record for his 100th birthday!’
Cpt Moore said: ‘I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be releasing a single with Michael Ball OBE, but I also never thought it possible for me to walk in the garden and raise millions.
‘So why not sing, spread some cheer and again – raise money for our national heroes. NHS this one is for you!’
Capt Moore has been personally thanked by the Duke of Cambridge, where he was shown a pre-recorded message from William, in which he praised the veteran’s achievement as ‘incredible’ and ‘amazing’.
In the video, the Duke said: ‘What I love also is that he’s a 99-year-old war vet, he’s been around a long time, knows everything and it’s wonderful that everyone has been inspired by his story and his determination.
‘I think he’s a one-man fundraising machine.
‘God knows what the final total will be but good on him, I hope he keeps going.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is looking at ways to recognise his ‘heroic efforts’.
Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Captain Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma.
On Saturday it emerged the hero could get a Spitfire flypast for his 100th birthday in 12 days time.
A team of aircraft restorers from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar hope to fly the plane past his home as a ‘small gesture’ to celebrate his achievements.
‘It will be a bit of a moral booster for us all really, to see a Spitfire in the sky,’ Alex Monk 21, from the Hangar, told The Telegraph. ‘It’s been a symbol of freedom in the past and quite an icon for Tom.’
The plan is for the Spirit of Kent, which was built in 1945 and flew in the memorial flight for the Battle of Britain, to fly at 500 feet and 250mph over the former tank commander’s home in the Bedfordshire village of Marston Moretaine. They are waiting for permission from the Department for Transport.
Britons up and down the country have been joining the Second World War hero for his morning walk.
Fans of Captain Moore have started uploading videos of themselves on social media under the hashtag #walkwithtom.
Dozens have been sharing their walks in the morning and showing their appreciation of the veterans heroic efforts.
Spitfire Spirit of Kent (pictured at Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, Surrey) may be flown over the World War Two hero’s home in Bedfordshire to celebrate his achievement
Some shared messages of support for the war hero including one youngster, called Harry, who wore his own military costumer to complete a lap of his garden on Thursday.
He told Capt Moore: ‘My mummy is a nurse. I just wanted to say thank you for helping the NHS and for doing a great job. I hope you have a happy birthday.’
Others shared videos of themselves walking through local countryside as they cheered Captain Moore on and praised him for continuing with his challenge despite smashing his initial £1,000 target.
Cpt Moore has been praised by the Duke of Cambridge and a long list of celebrities, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is looking at ways to recognise his ‘heroic efforts’.
More than 800,000 have signed online petitions calling for ‘Sir Tom’ to be knighted.
Captain Moore, who turns 100 on April 30, only planned to raise £1,000 when he started out on his fundraising journey.
On Friday footage emerged of Captain Moore watching a video in which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge praised him for his remarkable achievement.
Overjoyed by the message, Captain Moore, whose appeal has also received an undisclosed donation from William and Kate, said it was ‘absolutely amazing’ to hear his ‘super prince’ say such kind words about his fundraising efforts.
Prince William said of Captain Moore’s efforts in an interview with BBC Breakfast this morning: ‘It’s incredible. It’s amazing.
‘What I love also is that he’s a 99-year-old war vet, he’s been around a long time, he knows everything and it’s wonderful that everyone has been inspired by his story and his determination.
‘I think he’s a one man fundraising machine and God knows what the final total will be but good on him. I hope he keeps going’.
To which Captain Moore responds, after watching the interview: ‘Well that I think is absolutely amazing. That my super prince can say something like that.’
Prince William and Kate were speaking to the BBC about how they have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
The couple revealed they home schooled their children through the Easter holidays and spoke about fears for Prince Charles over his coronavirus diagnosis.
Kate also said the family had been through ‘ups and downs’ during the lockdown ‘like lots of families’ since it was imposed on March 23, but they had stayed in touch with other family members using online video calls.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman hinted at a possible knighthood for Captain Moore and said: ‘Tom has demonstrated a lifetime of bravery and compassion. The PM will certainly be looking at ways to recognise Tom and his efforts’.
The veteran said: I’d be amazed to have such an honour and meet our absolutely marvellous Queen. It’s unbelievable that it could happen.’
He added: ‘I’m a huge fan of everything Her Majesty has done for this country. I don’t think I’m a global phenomenon at all — just a grandad doing some laps of his garden,’ according to The Sun.
Ladbrokes has now suspended betting on Captain Moore being knighted this year.
By yesterday morning, more than 890,000 supporters had donations to Captain Moore’s appeal.
Speaking on BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Friday, He said: ‘It really is absolutely enormous isn’t it. That sum of money is very difficult to imagine but it’s coming in so well.’
His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said: ‘Tom is clear that as long as people believe that he’s worth investing in, he will keep walking because this is for such a phenomenal cause.
‘We know that this story will have a life to it, so as long as people are donating we’ll keep supporting my father to do it and he will keep walking.’
Speaking about the message from Prince William, he told Radio 2: ‘Never ever in my life did I anticipate being in touch with such important and super people who’ve been making kind remarks like this.
‘It really is out of this world.’
Addressing the public, he added: ‘I say thank-you very much indeed because the object that we’re contributing is so important and so necessary, and I appreciate and think you’re all so kind and thoughtful in contributing to this cause.’
Before he started the final leg of his challenge in the morning sunshine on Thursday, he was saluted as he stepped out with his frame by four soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment who had travelled to support him.
He was given a rousing greeting on the final stretch of his walk that has seen money donated from people in 53 countries. The Second World War veteran bowed his head and smiled as his chest of medals on his suit glinted.
How Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising has gone from zero to £20million in a week
- April 9: Captain Tom Moore and his family launch the ‘Captain Tom Moore’s 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS’ fundraising on JustGiving with a £1,000 target
- April 10, 2pm: Fundraising reaches £1,000 target in 24 hours, and family set new £100,000 target
- April 11, 7pm: The £100,000 target is reached and a new aim of £250,000 is set
- April 12, 2.30pm: Fundraiser hits £250,000 after Captain Moore appears on BBC Radio 2 and talks to the singer Michael Ball
- April 14, 12pm: Captain Moore’s donations hit £1million
- April 15, 10am: Donations get to £5million
- April 15, 5pm: Health Secretary Matt Hancock praises him as an ‘inspiration’ as donations get to £8million
- April 15, 11pm: The fundraiser reaches £10million
- April 16, 7am: Donations get to £12million
- April 16, 12pm: The fundraiser hits £13million
- April 16, 3pm: It gets to £14million three hours later
- April 17, 4pm: It gets to £19million raising £5million in just 24 hours
- April 18: It passes the £20m mark
Speaking after finishing, an emotional Captain Moore told BBC Breakfast: ‘I never ever dreamt I would be involved in such an occasion. We’re doing so well, and knowing that the reason we started off was for the NHS.
He added: ‘I think you’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right but it might take time. All the people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine again and the clouds will go away.’
Michael Ball then sang You’ll Never Walk Alone from his home, after telling him: ‘It’s an extraordinary achievement. I’ve been trying to think of a song which encapsulates your achievement and what you have done for us.’
Asked about the song, Captain Moore said: ‘First of all, Michael is such a super singer. I think it’s true that people, we will not walk alone, wherever you are there are other people thinking about you thinking that soon everything will be better and we will all be smiling again.’
After sitting down alongside his daughter he watched a compilation of sportsmen and celebrities praising him for his achievement, including cricketer Ben Stokes, former racing driver Damon Hill and TV personality Judge Judy.
The colonel of his former regiment, Brigadier Andrew Jackson, described him as a ‘legend’. Later tears welled up in Captain Moore’s eyes during a BBC Breakfast interview when told he had been an inspiration to millions.
Asked about what he thinks about potentially being knighted, Captain Moore told the programme: ‘It would be marvellous to have such an honour but I don’t expect anything like that. I think it would be absolutely enormous if i was knighted, to be Sir Thomas Moore, I have never heard of anything like that before
And speaking about the Queen, he added: ‘I think the Queen is marvellous and doing such a terrific job because all the time she’s been queen she has been the leader of the country – and I have the highest regard for her. I hope she continues as queen for a very long time.
And on his 100th birthday on April 30, Captain Moore said: ‘Well originally we were going to have a big party here with all my friends and relations and we were all imagining what it would be like.
‘For so long people have said ‘are you going to have a birthday party?’ probably hoping be invited, but I’m afraid that can’t happen now because they all have to stay six metres away from me.
‘But today really is something special with all you here and all the kind people watching and all you presenting money. And that is enough for me – and I hope you’re all well enough to be here when we do have a proper party.
‘But that won’t happen for a while because we are going to be locked in for a bit longer. I do feel for people in a very confined space for week after week, it must be very, very difficult – and I present my congratulations to all of you who are sticking to the rules and staying in your own homes.’
Told that he was now the largest individual fundraiser ever on the JustGiving website, Capt Moore added: ‘That is a nice record to break. Records are there to be broken and I’m very happy that it is this cause that has benefited so much.’
The 99-year-old gave the thumbs up and enjoyed a welcome hug from his daughter and grandchildren as he posed for the media following his 100th lap of his garden.
The war veteran had a rest after the exertions of his early morning walk to complete the 100 laps of his garden. ‘Just a little rest,’ he joked.
But within an hour he was back pushing his wheeled Zimmer frame around the paved area of the large garden as he chatted with his grandson Benji, 16, and granddaughter Georgia, 11.
Fundraising for NHS Charities Together
The NHS Charities Together coronavirus appeal to support frontline NHS staff has so far raised over £50m, less than a month after it launched.
NHS Charities Together, an umbrella body for NHS charities, launched an urgent fundraising appeal in March in light of the pandemic.
It’s goal is to raise £100m.
How does it compare to other fundraisers?
BBC Children in Need’s 2019 appeal raised an ‘on the night’ total of £47.9m.
The amount represents a £2.7m (5 per cent) fall on 2018, when a record £50.6m was raised on the night.
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Live event raised £35 million in 2019, £32m in 2018 and over £50 million in 2015.
MacMillan’s event The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning raised a total of £27.5m in 2019
He had been thrilled to meet soldiers from the modern day version of the regiment he had served in after being conscripted in 1940 when he was 20 years old.
Captain Moore said seeing the soldiers give him a guard of honour had given him a boost as he walked the final lap.
‘They were great lads and so nice that they could be here,’ he said. ‘I was with the Duke of Wellington’s regiment that was formed into the Yorkshire Regiment where they are from. It was lovely to see them here.’
His grandson Benji said the war veteran was an inspiration to people his age, adding: ‘I’ve always known what a strong character he was and if anyone was going to do this it was our granddad.
‘He’s a proud Yorkshireman and what he has achieved is just incredible and makes me so proud. I know he will want to keep walking so long as people are still giving money. He will not want to give up as he is giving so much hope to many others in these hard times.’
Claire Baxter, who works for his local surgery and spotted his skin cancer, said she was ‘teary’ about his achievements, adding: ‘We’re very proud of him, we adore him and we are honoured to be able to look after him.
‘He is a true gentleman. I do truly love him. He is every time he comes in. He’s seen me since May twice a week for dressings and he comes in always with a smile on his face – how I am, how my family are. We both enjoy Formula One, so we talk about that. He’s a joy to see. We miss him very much but we’re glad he’s safe and well.’
Speaking about his health, Captain Moore told ITV’s This Morning: ‘My health is fine, I’m fine because of the NHS. When I broke my hip and when I got cancer on my head they treated me so well. They deserve every penny they get.
‘Our own national service is absolutely beyond, it does so well and at the moment all the staff out there putting themselves in mortal danger every day, they go onto duty and they do it cheerfully whatever the outcome is.
‘They will know that at that time they all came and did so well. All the doctors, nurses and backup staff are all doing a marvellous job for the whole nation.
‘The war that we’re dealing with at the moment, with this invisible enemy, the doctors the nurses who are putting themselves in mortal danger are on the frontline and we’re the back up.
‘It’s our job to give them everything they need to do their job properly because they’ve done it with such bravery.’
Ian Lush, chairman of NHS Charities Together, which Captain Moore is supporting, said: ‘It was extraordinary, I feel a particular personal connection because Captain Tom was in Burma in India at the end of the war, and so was my late father who was Major Cecil Lush of the engineers, and they may well have met.’
‘It’s extraordinary to see the amount of money and the outpouring of good will towards the NHS and towards all the NHS charities who will take good care of the money that he’s raising.
Asked what happens to the money, he said: ‘There are about 150 NHS charities which will benefit from this money, we are a membership organisation and now a huge fundraising organisation, I’m the chairman, and I run one of the 150 charities that’s Imperial Health Charity – we support three hospitals.
‘We’re spending money on supporting the staff in the crisis time, we’re supporting wellbeing, we’re doing pods for them to sleep in the hospitals so they don’t have to go home between shifts.
‘We’re doing counselling, we’re doing all sorts of stuff, but we’re also putting money aside so that we have money to see us through over the next 18 months or so to support the staff.
‘We also support patients and families with our welfare grants, so there’s lots of different ways the money will be used. We’re all charities with a lot of experience of using this sort of funds, so we’ll make sure it goes to the right places.’
His daughter Hannah Ingram Moore told MailOnline she was ‘astonished’ at the £12million so far raised by her father. ‘It is just incredible and I’m sure it is going to go higher when he finishes the walk’, she said.
She added that her father had become ‘a beacon of hope for people’ in challenging times and that the donations were ‘beyond words’ as the country battles through a pandemic that has claimed more than 12,000 lives.
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 married Pamela in 1968 and they had two daughters, Lucy and Hannah. The wedding is pictured in 1968
Ms Moore also said the local postmaster had already been ‘inundated’ with messages ahead of Captain Moore’s 100th birthday, which is coming up in a fortnight’s time on April 30.
Major Ian Atkins from the Yorkshire Regiment, which is the equivalent of Captain Moore’s in the modern day, said at his home yesterday: ‘It’s an honour and a privilege for us to be here to support Tom in an outstanding achievement.
‘It’s absolutely fantastic stuff but over £12million is staggering. We see Tom as a member of the regimental family so to be here to support him is a privilege.’
The uniformed soldiers were on hand to cheer on the ‘captain fantastic’ as he steadily completed ten lengths of the garden of his home.
Director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted his praise for Captain Moore, saying: ‘This is such an inspiring story and extraordinary act of solidarity! Thank you so much Capt Tom Moore for such a wonderful idea and lesson of humanity! Together, against #COVID19! #ThanksHealthHeroes’.
Earlier, Captain Moore had said that NHS workers on the frontline ‘deserve everything we can give them’, telling ITV: ‘I’ve always been one for having a future, I always think things will be good. We’ve fought so many battles and we’ve always won and we’re going to win again.’
Such is the fame of Captain Moore, half a dozen police officers were stationed outside the front gate of the home he shares with his daughter and her family.
And Captain Moore told MailOnline rather than put his feet up for a well-deserved rest he plans to continue walking and raise even more money.
He said: ‘I have completed my 100 laps, but I am going to keep walking because I know that I have the incredible British public behind me every step of the way.
‘I am so completely overwhelmed by the support from everyone, and can’t thank you all enough for supporting my mission to raise money for our beloved NHS’.
Hannah – whom he has lived with for 12 years – said she was bursting with pride at her father who celebrates his 100th birthday later this month.
She said: ‘We knew he could do 100 laps of the garden – no doubt about it, but we never in a million years expected to raise this amount of money.
‘The whole world is talking about Captain Tom Moore, and that makes me incredibly proud as his daughter. I have watched the whole nation fall in love my father, and he deserves all the love, recognition and support for his incredible mission. So thank you from us all.’
The Second World War hero, who joined the army in 1940 when he was 20 years old, had set out to raise £1,000 by slowly walking 100 lengths of his garden before celebrating his 100th birthday.
But inspired by messages of support flooding into his family he dashed off 90 lengths in a little over a week. He completed the final ten laps of the original challenge this morning.
He had wanted to raise the money to thank the NHS staff who had supported him through skin cancer treatment and a broken hip. As word of his fund-raising spread via social media he quickly surpassed the £1,000 total.
Ellie Orton, chief executive of the charity on the receiving end of Captain Moore’s fundraising, said: ‘I think I absolutely join the rest of the country in being truly inspired and profoundly humbled by Captain Tom and what he has achieved. Thank you for being an inspiration and a role model.’
Captain Tom began the final laps at 7.45am on Thursday, watched by film crews from BBC and ITV.
Before he started, he paid tribute to the NHS and said: ‘I feel fine, being in the Army I’m used to getting up early.’
The former Army officer has admitted to being stunned by the response to his fundraising efforts saying the support has been ‘absolutely fabulous’.
In a rallying call to the nation he added: ‘Let’s all carry on and remember that things will get better. We have had problems before – we have overcome them – and we shall all overcome the same thing again.’
You can donate to Tom’s magnificent charity campaign by going to justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs
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