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Retired Army man who raised millions for Covid passes away3 min read

February 3, 2021 2 min read

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Retired Army man who raised millions for Covid passes away3 min read

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This retired army officer, who passed away recently at the age of 100, became something of a celebrity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Capt. Sir Thomas Moore served in World War II in India and Burma, but became known to millions when he was 99. 

His attempt to contribute to fighting Covid-19 was what brought him fame, and he did this in his own unique way. 

‘Captain Tom’, as he grew to be affectionately called, raised tens of millions of dollars for frontline health workers. In April last year, he began in fundraising initiative for the health workers who treated him for cancer. How did he do this, you ask?

Captain Tom walking in his home’s backyard with his
aid and army badges

Well, he started to walk! His plan was to raise £1,000 (almost a lakh) by walking around the garden of his home, in Buckinghamshire, England, in the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday. His plan was successful and how!

Moore ended up raising £33 million (can you guess how much that is in rupees? It’s a lot of zeroes!) by capturing the hearts of millions across the UK and around the world! 

Queen Elizabeth II knights Captain Moore

Even the queen was impressed! In July last year, Queen Elizabeth knighted Moore, and at the time he said, “I’m still Tom Moore. I mean, it’s nice. It’s nice, I think Sir Thomas sounds very nice, but inside I haven’t changed. Nothing’s changed inside.”

He was also given another honour during New Year’s celebrations in London, with a personalised fireworks display, complete with his walking aid and military badges that he came to be known for.

His viral fundraiser became so popular that a Russian veteran got inspired by him and took up a similar initiative. 

After his death, which came after he tested positive for Covid-19 a week before, was confirmed on his social media accounts by his family. Numerous condolences poured in, with the Queen and UK Prime Minister also sending in their regards. “Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson had said. “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.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Moore “became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world.” “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the world,” Johnson said in a statement. 

Goes to show that it’s never too late to make a difference, right?

Sources: ABC News, The Guardian, CNN

Photos: AP, Twitter