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How a 99 yr old war veteran captured the heart of the nation

Credit: BBC

Captain Tom Moore originally aimed to raise just £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.  More than 950,000 people have now made donations to his JustGiving page.  More than half a million people have called for Capt Tom to be knighted in a petition to the Honours Committee.  The petition, which was set up earlier this week, has received more than 505,000 signatures after his efforts grabbed the nation’s attention.

As he finished the challenge on Thursday, Capt Tom said it was “an absolutely fantastic sum of money”.  In a tweet, he said he would be doing “less walking” on Friday but would be talking to TV channels in the United States, Argentina, Europe and the Middle East.  Speaking to BBC Radio he said the sum of money was “absolutely enormous” and “very difficult to imagine”. He also thanked everyone who had donated for their support.  “I say thank you very much indeed. I appreciate it because the object for which we’re donating is so important and so necessary… I think you’re all so kind and thoughtful contributing to this cause,” he said.

The total includes an undisclosed donation from the Duke of Cambridge, who with the Duchess of Cambridge recorded a special video message for the veteran.  Prince William said: “It’s amazing and 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. “He’s a one-man fundraising machine and God knows what the final total will be. But good on him, and I hope it keeps going.”

In response, Capt Tom said: “It’s absolutely amazing that my super prince can say something like that.” He also said it was “a moment we will never forget”.

Capt Tom, who is originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, has seemingly risen from nowhere to the status of near national treasure.  Keighley Town Council has tweeted that it will “honour the fundraising hero” with the freedom of the town. Tributes and messages of congratulations have continued to pour in, including from sporting stars.

Capt Tom began raising funds to thank NHS staff who helped him with treatment for cancer and a broken hip. With the aid of a walking frame, he completed 100 laps of the 25-metre (82ft) loop in his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, in 10-lap chunks well before his birthday on 30 April.

NHS Charities Together said it was “truly inspired and humbled” by his efforts.                                (Source:  BBC news on-line 17/4)

On 17th April, the total raised on his JustGiving page had exceeded £20 million by 8pm.  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs?fbclid=IwAR0vQw0Ud-br9qdodtH0_yFzcyBvCSQteZs2dpFiSrTeQ7R5j06FcPyEpew

How much more will his efforts raise?

Association of NHS Charities

The NHS is amazing. It is there for us at the most profound moments in our lives, no matter who we are or what we need. There are 250 NHS Charities in the UK providing funds and services above and beyond what the NHS alone can provide. Everyday NHS Charities give £1 million to the NHSCharity Registration No. 1186569

Captain Tom walks to the top of the iTunes charts

Captain Tom Moore has added another distinction to his late-flowering career. He is top of the iTunes pops.  A charity single recorded by actor/singer Michael Ball with backing vocals from Moore shot to the top of the UK iTunes charts within hours of its release on Saturday.  The singer and soldier collaborated a rousing but socially distanced version of You’ll Never Walk Alone from musical Carousel.

Ball and Moore recorded separately at their own homes and their voices were mixed digitally. Their song gave the iTunes chart a nostalgic look: the next most popular song was “We’ll Meet Again” another NHS charity collaboration between Catherine Jenkins and Dame Vera Lynn, the second world war “forces sweetheart” who is now 103.                   (Drawn from The Sunday Times 19/4)

Boris Johnson to ‘recognise’ hero Captain Tom Moore after he raises £18m for NHS  (follow up story )

A petition calling for the war veteran to receive a knighthood has received almost 500,000 signatures.   Captain Tom Moore, the Second World War veteran who has raised more than £18m for the NHS, will receive recognition for his “heroic efforts” from the prime minister, Downing Street has said.

The 99-year-old originally aimed to raise £1,000 through his Justgiving page to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic – but his actions have now led to a petition for him to be knighted after donations rocketed.

Responding online to the Change.org petition, Number 10 said Boris Johnson “will certainly be looking at ways to recognise Tom for his heroic efforts” after it received more than 485,000 signatures.