NEWS
02/02/2021 16:09 GMT | Updated 02/02/2021 17:23 GMT

Captain Tom Moore Dies Aged 100 After Testing Positive For Coronavirus

Sir Tom helped raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April.

Captain Sir Tom Moore has died at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19.

The charity fundraiser was taken to Bedford Hospital on Sunday after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for coronavirus last week.

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

“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime. We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.

“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.”

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The then 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden

Sir Tom’s fundraising efforts raised more than £32 million for the NHS, walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown in April.

The Second World War veteran, who fought in the Burma campaign, set out to raise £1,000 from his charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.

He raised a total of £32.7 million, with donations from 1.5 million supporters, before his fundraising page was closed at midnight following his birthday on April 30.

He started his challenge a little over three weeks earlier, and encouraged people to continue to donate to NHS Charities Together.

In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in the summer.

After news of his death emerged, the NHS, for which Sir Tom raised millions of pounds, tweeted: “Thanks for everything Sir Tom.”

Sir Tom’s family confirmed his illness on Sunday, saying he had needed additional help with his breathing and was being treated on a ward but not in ICU.

Speaking after his death, they added: “We have had many inquiries asking if Captain Tom had been offered the vaccine. Due to other medication Tom was receiving for pneumonia, he was unable to be vaccinated.”

The statement also revealed Sir Tom had been receiving treatment for prostate and skin cancer for the last five years but, with the help of his medical team, had made the decision not to have invasive treatment.

Doctors were consulted before Sir Tom and his family flew to Barbados on December 11. This was before Bedford was placed into tier 3 on December 19 and later tier 4 on December 20. He returned to the UK on January 6.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said Sir Tom “became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world” and was a “hero in the truest sense of the word”. The flag above 10 Downing Street was lowered to half mast in his honour.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said Sir Tom gave the nation a “boost when we most needed it”.

She said in a statement: “On behalf of everyone in the NHS, I want to pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore who has been the model of all that has been good about our country’s response to Covid-19.

“People rightly marvel at the tens of millions of pounds Captain Sir Tom raised for the NHS, but for me his biggest achievement and most important contribution to helping my fellow nurses, doctors and all those in the NHS responding to coronavirus, has been how he brought the country together and gave us all a boost when we most needed it.”

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Captain Sir Thomas Moore receiving his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle last year 

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson added: “The Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Cpt Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year.

“Her thoughts, and those of the Royal Family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world.”

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Such sad news. RIP Captain.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock also paid tribute, tweeting: “I’m so sorry to hear that Captain Tom has passed away in hospital.

“He was a great British hero that showed the best of our country & I send my best wishes to his family at this time.”

 

Singer Michael Ball, who recorded a charity single with Sir Tom that reached number one, wrote on Twitter: “Rest in peace @captaintommoore. A wonderful life so well lived and a hero and fighter to the very end.

“So very very sad. Love and prayers for @Hannah_I_M and all the family. “

The Archbishop of Canterbury described Sir Tom as “the very best of us”, adding: “Where he walked, a nation followed.” 

Speaking of his wartime service ahead of VJ Day last year, Sir Tom told how he “wasn’t very scared” of the Japanese Imperial Army, despite carrying around a suicide pill in case he was captured.

He added that he did not give in to despair during his time in the Far East: “In Burma I never thought of disaster. I always thought we would win and looked forward to the time when we would keep the flag flying in peace.”

His history-making cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone was recorded with Ball and the NHS Voices of Care choir. 

The song shot to number one, making Sir Tom – who was 99 at the time – the oldest person to ever top the singles charts.

He even dabbled in a bit of modelling, wearing a very suave suit on the cover of GQ magazine, which honoured him with the Inspiration Of The Year title at the annual GQ Men Of The Year Awards.

Sir Tom’s fundraising efforts were marked during the New Years drone display in London, as his figure appeared over the O2 Arena.