World War Two veteran Thomas Moore, now known across the country as Captain Tom, has raised almost £33 million to help the NHS fight coronavirus. Drawing nationwide support and eventually raising millions, Captain Tom set himself the challenge in the lead up to his hundredth birthday. The veteran planned to fundraise for NHS Charities Together, a group of charities supporting NHS staff, volunteers and patients. Colin, Captain Tom’s son-in-law, pledged a pound for every lap, if he completed one hundred laps before his birthday. Dubbed “Tom’s 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS,” what was to follow, captured the heart of a nation.
Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, who runs a consulting firm with her husband, helped raise the profile of his charity walk. She helped setup a JustGiving page, with a target of £1000, in support of the NHS. She also wrote up news releases for local newspapers and television stations in Bedfordshire. As the nation reeled from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with deaths mounting and strict lockdown measures in force, Captain Tom burst to the fore.
The now hundred-year-old army veteran, who survived World War Two, became a media sensation. On 16 April, Captain Tom completed his walk and was saluted by the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment as he crossed the finish line.
Colonel Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore was born in Keighley, Yorkshire, on 30 April 1920. After receiving his early education at Keighley Grammar School, he completed an apprenticeship in civil engineering. At the beginning of WWII, Moore joined the 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. Selected for officer training in 1940, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 28 June 1941. Transferred to India, Moore served in Mumbai and Kolkata. His regiment also took part in the infamous Battle of Ramree Island. During the Second World War, he also served in Arakan, western Burma, now Myanmar, after which he was promoted to the rank of captain.