Tom Moore to be knighted after Captain raised £33m for NHS in garden

World War II veteran and NHS fundraising Captain Tom Moore will be knighted, Downing Street has announced.

The 100-year-old raised nearly £ 33 million for health care charities by walking around his garden in Bedfordshire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Sir Tom as a “true national treasure” and praised his “fantastic fundraising” which he said “gave us all a beacon through the fog of the corona virus.”

Mr. Johnson advises Sir Tom to be exceptionally honored by the Queen, who has approved the honor, number 10 said.

An inauguration ceremony will take place at a later date.

His knighthood comes just weeks after he was made an honorary colonel on the occasion of his centennial and fundraising.

Sir Tom planned to walk 100 laps of his garden at Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday on April 30, and he completed the laps beforehand.

His initial target for fundraising was £ 1,000, but his determination caught the imagination of the public during the pandemic and within days he had raised tens of millions of pounds

He also released a charity single, I’ll Never Walk Alone, with singer Michael Ball, who reached number one on the charts, making him the oldest artist ever to have a UK number one single.

Mr. Johnson said, “Colonel Tom’s fantastic fundraising broke records, inspired the entire country and provided us all with a beacon through the fog of the corona virus.

“On behalf of everyone who is moved by his incredible story, I would like to thank you very much. He is a true national treasure. “

A government spokeswoman added, “We know that there is a huge hunger to thank everyone who supports the nation during this emergency and who is doing incredible things day by day across the country.

“We make sure these unsung heroes are recognized in the right way and at the right time.”

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer congratulated Sir Tom, who he says “had inspired millions and helped us all celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our NHS”.

He added, “Tom in his actions embodied the national solidarity that has grown during this crisis, showing us that everyone can contribute to a better future.”

Sir Tom joined the eighth battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (8 DWR), an infantry unit converted to operate Churchill tanks as part of the Royal Armored Corps (RAC).

Tom Moore to be knighted after Captain raised £33m for NHS in garden

In 1940, he was selected for officer training and rose to the rank of captain, later seconded to 9 DWR in India.

He served and fought in the Arakan in western Burma since renaming the name Rakhine, and went to Sumatra with his regiment after the Japanese surrender.

After the war, he returned to the UK and worked as an instructor at the Armored Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington, Dorset.

He lived in Kent for many years before moving to Bedfordshire to be with his family in 2007.