His aim was to raise 1,000 pounds (about $1,370) for NHS-related charities by doing 100 laps of his garden in the Bedfordshire village of Marston Moretaine, wearing his war medals over a blazer, to mark his birthday, April 30.
As news reporters, photographers and TV networks flocked to record his effort, he ended up raising 32 million pounds (around $45 million), entering Guinness World Records for the largest amount raised in a charity walk by an individual.
Then at 100, he became the oldest person to have a No. 1 hit single on British pop charts, voicing the lyrics of the Rodgers and Hammerstein ballad “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as popular singer Michael Ball rendered the melody along with a choir of NHS doctors and nurses.
Another singer, the Canadian known as the Weeknd, who was vying for the No. 1 spot at the time, graciously tweeted to his fans that they should buy Captain Tom’s record so that the British “national treasure” could top the charts on his 100th birthday. He did.
He formally became Capt. Sir Tom Moore when Queen Elizabeth II, herself in isolation in Windsor Castle during a covid-19 lockdown, tapped his shoulders with a sword in July 2020 and bestowed a knighthood. It was the queen’s first face-to-face meeting with a member of the public for four months, following public clamor for her to make him a “sir.”
She also promoted Capt. Moore to the rank of honorary colonel, but the nation continued to call him simply “Captain Tom.” (A British intercity train was renamed the Captain Tom Moore, and his autobiography, “Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day,” co-written by novelist Wendy Holden and published in September, became a bestseller in Britain.)
He died Feb. 2, in a hospital near his home, two days after he was admitted for treatment for pneumonia and covid-19, according to his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore on the family’s Twitter account.
He had lived with his daughter and son-in-law since his wife, Pamela, died in 2006. Ingram-Moore did not specify a cause of death but said he had tested positive for coronavirus infection last week and was admitted to a hospital for “additional help” with his breathing. She said doctors had not given him a coronavirus vaccine because of his pneumonia medication.
Although he had achieved near-sainthood status in Britain, a small but vociferous minority of online “trolls” attacked his daughter and her husband for letting him take a pre-Christmas holiday to Barbados (paid for by British Airways). Amid covid-19 restrictions, they protested, a seven-hour flight for a centenarian with underlying health conditions — he had skin cancer and had broken a hip in 2018 — was a bad idea.
Ingram-Moore responded that the trip was “legal” despite the covid-19 “guidelines” against unnecessary travel. Under current lockdown rules, Britons are advised to “stay home” — the government’s top pandemic slogan. She said the trip had been on her father’s…
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