Captain Tom Moore: War Veteran And Record-breaking British Fundraiser Dies Of COVID-19, Aged 100


Captain Tom Moore, who captured Britain’s heart as he raised more than £30 million for UK’s NHS last year, has died at the age of 100.

The centenarian was admitted to Bedford hospital on 31 January, a week after he tested positive for Covid-19, following treatment for pneumonia.

His daughters, Hannah and Lucy, said in a statement that, “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.”

Captain Tom, a WWII veteran, became the nation’s sweetheart after he set an initial goal of raising £1,000 by his 100th birthday in April 2020 by walking around his garden in Maston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, with a walking frame.

He went on to raise around £33 million for the NHS, breaking two Guinness world records. He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth and became the oldest artist to claim a UK No 1 single for his cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care choir.

Before his death on Tuesday, he received hundreds of thousands of “get well” messages, including from prime minister Boris Johnson, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, the British army, the England football team and Ball.

Mr Johnson said on 1 February that he spoke to Captain Tom’s family after it was revealed he had been admitted to hospital and called him “an inspiration to everybody in this country during this pandemic”.

Captain Tom had not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine before he fell ill because of medication he had been taking for pneumonia. In December, he had travelled to Barbados on vacation with his family after British Airways paid for his flight.

Born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in 1920, he joined the military in 1940 and became a member of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1941. He went on to serve in India, and then in Arakan in Myanmar, where he survived Dengue fever before returning to the UK in 1945.

His record-breaking fundraising went towards charity organisation NHS Charities Together, which said the money has helped patients, their families and carers during their most isolated and stressful moments throughout the pandemic.

A significant proportion of donations that went into the Urgent Covid-19 Appeal came from Captain Tom’s fundraising efforts, and was a key part of the initial tranche of funding which helped meet urgent needs on the ground during the first wave of coronavirus infections.

Captain Tom is survived by his daughters Hannah and Lucy, and four grandchildren.

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Misso Chitsamba
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