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‘Such a gift’: Archbishop Welby pays tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore

02 February 2021

100-year-old veteran who raised £32 million for the NHS has died with the coronavirus


Sir Tom Moore, photographed in April 2020

Sir Tom Moore, photographed in April 2020

CAPTAIN Sir Tom Moore, who died on Tuesday afternoon with the coronavirus, was “an example to us all”, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Sir Tom, a 100-year-old veteran, was knighted last year after raising nearly £33 million for the NHS in the battle against Covid-19. He died in Bedford Hospital.

Despite his age, he had reportedly not been administered the vaccine because of the risks of it interfering with his treatment for pneumonia.

His daughters said on Tuesday: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore. We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie, and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime.

“We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.”

At the start of the pandemic last year, Sir Tom had planned to raise £1000 for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden, which he did, finishing the challenge on his 100th birthday on 30 April. His efforts, which were picked up by the national media, have since raised £32.8 million (News, 1 May 2020).

The family, who described his recent treatment unde2r the NHS as “unfalteringly professional, kind, and compassionate”, said: “The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated, and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.”

His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore had announced on social media only hours earlier that Sir Tom had been admitted to hospital on Sunday after contracting the virus a few days previously.

Archbishop Welby said that he was “deeply saddened” to hear of Sir Tom’s death. “Captain Tom was the very best of us. His courage, compassion, resilience, hope, and generosity have been an inspiration to millions — and an example to us all. Where he walked, a nation followed. I give thanks to God for such a long life, so well lived. May Captain Tom Moore rest in peace.”

Earlier, he had told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme: “One of Sir Tom’s extraordinary achievements is to stand for all of us in the most remarkable way in his courage, in the way he supported the NHS and raised so much money, and now to stand for all of us in this battle against Covid; [he] stands for every patient. . . He has been such a gift. . . 

“He comes from a generation that knew what real and complete suffering for the whole nation in a unique way was, in war, and, as a result, he is someone who has that determination.”

The Queen was said to be sending a private message of condolence to the family. A statement on the royal social-media channels said: “Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them.”

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