Captain Tom Moore, who turns 100 on April 30th, has raised an incredible amount of money for NHS charities through his JustGiving page.
A 99-year-old Second World War veteran has raised millions of pounds for NHS charities by completing 100 laps of his garden using a walker.
Captain Tom Moore, who turns 100 on April 30th, set a fundraising target of £1,000, but was astonished when that was reached in 24 hours. He went on to increase the target to £500,000, but 700,000 people signed up to his JustGiving page, and at the time of writing over £14m has been raised, including a £100,000 donation from JustGiving itself, which confirmed it is the largest total ever raised in a single campaign.
Captain Moore achieved his target by completing 100 laps of 82m each around his Bedfordshire garden with the help of a walking frame. A guard of honour from the Yorkshire Regiment accompanied his last lap.
He wanted to raise money for what he called the ‘national heroes’ of the NHS, including those who treated him for skin cancer and a broken hip. He told the BBC he had received “such marvellous service”, particularly from nurses.
“The patience and kindness that I got from all of them, top to bottom, was absolutely amazing,” he said.
“They’ve done so well for me and they’re doing so well for everybody else at the moment, that I think we must say ‘well done National Health Service’. They deserve so much more than we can possibly give them.”
He has received multiple messages of thanks from NHS workers, sports personalities and politicians.
Funds raised by Captain Moore will be administered by the NHS Charities Together fund and spent on well-being packs for NHS staff and for kitting out rest and recuperation rooms, paying for devices for hospital patients to keep in touch with loved ones, and working with community groups to support patients once they are discharged from hospitals.
Born and brought up in Keighley, Yorkshire, Captain Moore went to Keighley Grammar School, completed an apprenticeship as a civil engineer and enlisted in 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 Armoured Corps (RAC).
He rose to the rank of Captain and served in 8 DWR (145 RAC), later being posted to 9 DWR in India, fought on the Arakan, western Burma, and accompanied his regiment to Sumatra after the Japanese surrender.
On return to the UK he became was an Instructor to the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington.
Asked for his advice as to how the nation can get over the current coronavirus crisis, Captain Moore said it was important to always think that “tomorrow is a good day”.
“Tomorrow you will maybe find everything will be much better than today, even if today was alright. That’s the way I think I’ve always looked at it. Tomorrow will be a good day.”
Captain Tom said he finds walking difficult, but others “have it a lot worse”.