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Captain Tom Moore: No Ordinary Hero

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 5 May 2020 | 0 Comments

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5 May 2020
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In the UK, a man who has just celebrated his 100th birthday has become a national hero during the Covid-19 outbreak, parking an outpouring of heartfelt warmth from all corners of the world. 

The grey-haired World War II veteran, who walks with the aid of a mobility frame, was even honoured by the British Government who awarded him as an honorary Colonel on the day he reached a century.  

Why is this man so special? Because this humble, noble man of impeccable manners and grace has single-handedly raised almost £30 million (more than $37 million)

in support of the UK’s National Health Service by walking around his garden 100 times at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. His original fundraising goal was a modest £1,000 for each lap of his garden.

Today the total raised is still rising, and on his 100th birthday on April 30 Captain Tom received hundreds  of thousands of cards from admirers all over the world. Dozens of murals appeared on walls, bridges and buildings around the UK and the Royal Air Force  made a special appearance in the skies in a spectacular flypast above Moore's house in Bedfordshire, UK where he was celebrating his centenary with his family.

Born in Keighley in West Yorkshire on April 30th 1920, Captain Tom Moore attended Keighley Grammar School before completing an apprenticeship as a civil engineer. 

At the start of the Second World War, he joined the British Army enlisting into the eighth battalion of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (8 DWR), an infantry unit that

was converted to operate Churchill tanks as part of the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC). In 1940, he was selected for officer training and rose to the rank of captain, 

later being posted to 9 DWR in India. He served and fought in the Arakan in western Burma, later renamed Rakhine State, and went with his regiment to 

Sumatra after the Japanese surrender in 1945. After the war, he returned to the UK and worked as an instructor at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington,

Dorset then retired to Kent for many years before moving to Bedfordshire in 2007 to be closer to his family.  

In 2018, Captain Tom required NHS treat after suffering a broken hip and later requiring treatment for skin cancer on his scalp. Today he has repaid the 

NHS as a fundraising hero: a man of advanced years who has cared for the UK’s greatest asset, and stolen the nation’s hearts. He felt inspired to help the 

NHS and pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden, before his 100th birthday to raise funds. 

A man of extraordinary dignity and humility, Tom Moore has also become an unlikely number one chart-topping artist. He has, quite rightly, 

received special thanks and well wishes from celebrities, royalty and politicians as well as the general public and is now Colonel Tom, 

after being awarded the honorary promotion by the Army Foundation College, which he described as "really something special”. 

Ten days later, assisted by his trademark walking frame, he completed the 100 laps and raised more than £20m. Tom Moore was given a special

guard of honour from the 1st battalion of the Yorkshire regiment as he completed his walking challenge. Of the magnificent flypast Captain Tom said: 

"I'm one of the few people here who've seen Hurricanes and Spitfires flying past in anger. Fortunately today they're all flying peacefully."

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