THE Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have led tributes to ‘great British hero’ Captain Sir Tom Moore following his death, aged 100.
The World War Two and NHS hero passed away this morning after fighting Covid and pneumonia at Bedford Hospital.
Follow the latest tributes to Captain Tom Moore on our live blog…
The former soldier inspired the nation during the first Covid lockdown last year as his campaign to raise £1,000 for the NHS by completing 100 laps of his garden raked in more than £33 million.
He was knighted by the Queen in July – a day he described as one of the proudest of his life.
Captain Tom had suffered symptoms of pneumonia for several weeks, meaning he was unable to receive a Covid vaccine.
He was admitted to hospital on Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus.
His family were allowed to be by his bedside last night in his final hours and announced his death this afternoon.
The PM spoke to Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore this afternoon to offer his condolences and support. The British flag has been lowered to half mast above No10 today.
In a statement, Hannah and Tom’s eldest daughter Lucy Teixeira, 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.
“Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.”
A statement from the Royal Family said the Queen had sent her condolences to Captain Tom’s family.
A spokesperson said: “The Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year.
“Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them.”
The PM said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and in the face of this country’s deepest post war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.
“It is quite astonishing that at the age of 100 he raised more than £32 million for the NHS, and so gave countless others their own chance to thank the extraordinary men and women who have protected us through the pandemic.
“He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family. “
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “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.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak wrote on Twitter: A proud Yorkshire man. A dedicated Army Officer. A tireless fundraiser. And above all, an inspiration to us all.
“Rest in peace Captain Tom.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “This is incredibly sad news.
“Captain Tom Moore put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions.
“Britain has lost a hero.”
David Beckham posted: “Today we have lost a true hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“What he achieved for our NHS will never be forgotten. Tom, you were truly the very best of British.
“When our country and our world was struggling you gave us hope, put a smile on our faces and made us believe that tomorrow would be a good day.”
Michael Ball, who reached Number 1 in the UK charts alongside Captain Tom with their version of You’ll Never Walk Alone said: “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.”
Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid said: “The man who united and inspired our nation at a moment of deepest despair.
“Thank you Captain Sir Tom Moore for your service. I am heartbroken for your family. A life well lived, and well loved. RIP.”
Singer Katherine Jenkins, who met Captain Tom at his home in October to present him with a Pride of Britain Award, said: “Tomorrow will be a good day because of how brightly you shone in all our lives.
“Thank you for bringing us hope and strength. An angel amongst the angels. RIP Captain Sir Tom.”
“The care our father received from the NHS and carers over the last few weeks and years of his life has been extraordinary.
“They have been unfalteringly professional, kind and compassionate and have given us many more years with him than we ever would have imagined.
“Over the past few days our father spoke a great deal about the last 12 months and how proud he felt at being able to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation.
“We politely ask for privacy at this time so we can grieve quietly as a family and remember the wonderful 100 years our father had.”
A statement by his charity, The Captain Tom Foundation, said: “We are heartbroken by the passing of our Founder and inspiration Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“As well as uniting the nation and giving hope when it was needed most he has been our beacon of light every single day.
“He was so passionate about The Foundation’s vision for a more hopeful world and equal society and was immensely proud of the growing legacy it was establishing in his name.
“We have been working with Captain Tom to create positive impact around causes close to his and the families hearts, from combating loneliness to championing education and equality and of course supporting the incredible NHS carers and frontline workers whom he held in such high regard.
“Captain Tom’s actions inspired people across the world and he was extremely honoured that The Foundation might inspire a new generation of Captain Toms. We can all make a difference and through our continued work we will aspire to ensure Tom’s message of hope becomes an enduring legacy.
“Whilst we mourn his loss, we celebrate his life and will be forever grateful for his optimistic philosophy and wonderful spirit.
“Thank you Captain Sir Tom. Because of you tomorrow will be a good day for so many more.”
Captain Tom travelled to Barbados for a final holiday with his family in December – before travel restrictions were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson – but fell ill after his return to the UK.
Information released on behalf of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s family revealed he tested positive for Covid-19 on January 22 after returning home from hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
The statement said Sir Tom was tested regularly for Covid-19 between December 9 and January 12 and each test returned negative.
The father-of-two was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, in April 1920.
He completed an apprenticeship as a civil engineer before joining the 8th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, part of the Royal Armoured corps, and fought in the 1942-3 Arakan campaign in WW2.
In 1940 he was selected for officer training and was posted in the 9 DWR in India.
He returned to the UK to train tank crews at Bovington, Wiltshire and continued his hobby as a motocross rider.
Captain Tom had lived with daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her family in Bedfordshire since the death of his wife, Pamela, in 2006.
How Captain Tom united the nation
April 2020 – Captain Tom Moore begins his fundraising effort to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday with the aim of raising £1,000 for the NHS
April 14 – The war veteran smashes his initial target with £1million donated by mid-morning – rising to £2million just hours later
April 15 – More than £7million is donated by over 340,000 supporters as celeb’s praise his heroic effort
April 16 – Captain Tom completes his 100 laps and vows to keep going if people are donating. He receives support from the Prime Minister and Royal family for his incredible achievement
April 24 – The veteran becomes the oldest person to top the charts with his cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with singer Michael Ball
April 30 – The hero’s fundraising page reaches £32million as he celebrates his 100th birthday. A military flypast honours his birthday milestone and he is made a honorary colonel
July 17 – Captain Tom receives a knighthood from the Queen in a special engagement held just for him
September – He signs a deal to film a biopic of his incredible life and writes bestselling autobiography, titled “Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day”
October 5 – Captain Tom becomes one of the country’s oldest podcasters with the launch of a series to tackle isolation among older people
December – He celebrates Christmas with his family on a bucket list trip to Barbados
January 31, 2021 – His family reveal he has been admitted to hospital with pneumonia and Covid
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After the war he returned to civilian life and married Pamela who was 15 years his junior.
Daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said on Sunday: “He was at home with us until today when he needed additional help with his breathing.
“The medical care he has received in the last few weeks has been remarkable.”