Captain Tom Moore had initially set out to raise £1,000 by walking 100 lengths of his 27-yard garden in Bedfordshire, but surpassed his target multifold in just a week.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 17, 2020. It has since been updated.
As the world fought the global pandemic, there were people who were directly exposed to this deadly virus and put their lives in danger every single day. These brave warriors were the healthcare professionals who went beyond their call of duty to make sure they saved lives. Doctors, nurses, caretakers, etc. are all fought on the frontline and they are the ones who deserve our respect for the unselfish and tireless work they put in.
In these desperate times, another warrior emerged who took it upon himself to aid the frontline workers to the best of his abilities. Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old veteran of World War II, raised funds for the welfare of National Health Service (NHS) workers by walking in his own garden. As reported by Daily Mail, he initially set out to raise £1,000 by walking 100 lengths of his 27-yard garden in Bedfordshire, but surpassed his target multifold in just a week.
10 MILLION POUND!— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) April 15, 2020
Virtutis Fortuna Comes
I want to thank all the people behind the scenes including @JustGiving, @BBCBreakfast and @GMB for being behind us from the start, and all the wonderful people donating! #TomorrowWillBeAGoodDay
His story, as presented on his Just Giving (fundraising website), spoke of the way he lived his life and that he was indeed as much a hero in service as he was out of it. His bio reveals that "Tom was born and brought up in Keighley, Yorkshire. He went to Keighley Grammar School and later completed an apprenticeship as a Civil Engineer. Tom went on to being enlisted in 8 DWR (145 RAC) at the beginning of the war, and in 1940 was selected for Officer training."
According to his bio, "He was later posted to 9DWR in India, and served and fought on the Arakan, went to Regiment to Sumatra after the Japanese surrender and returned to be Instructor at Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington."
Captain Moore's initial aim was to raise £1,000 for the NHS workers but as the word spread, more than 90,000 people came on the donating platform to support his endeavor. In fact, the site crashed for a while because they did not expect such a massive outpouring of support in such a short time. His 100th birthday was celebrated on April 30, 2020, and before that, the hero veteran had already surpassed his monetary target.
The Captain walked with the help of a zimmer frame and it was quite a task for this elderly gentleman to complete the lengths of his garden but he was determined to do so for NHS Charities Together. NHS Charities Together is an organisation that supports NHS workers and helped provide daily aid of £1 million to help them fight the pandemic better.
"It really is outstanding!"— SkyNews (@SkyNews) April 15, 2020
99-year-old veteran Captain Tom Moore, who has raised over £8m by walking around his garden, says he never anticipated raising so much money and says the response has been "absolutely awesome".
Read more here: https://t.co/TKU6bl6T7Q pic.twitter.com/kqCIU9Nox2
Maytrix, another company that supported his efforts and the NHS had set up the funding page. The company is owned by Captain's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and son-in-law, Colin Ingram. They explained their interest in Captain Moore's effort and wrote, "We set this page up, without any idea that it would become as highly visited as it is, and more of 'heartwarming' story for the local region. It is completely blown up, and we are so proud to be representing Tom and his 100th birthday walk for the NHS."
Given the amount of awareness he raised along with the magnitude of funds he was been able to generate for the NHS, even the then Health Secretary Matt Hancock took time to personally thank him for his work during his regular press conference over the pandemic. He applauded Captain Moore's dedication and said, "Captain Tom, you're an inspiration to us all and we thank you."
At the time of writing this article originally, he had been able to garner the support of 913961, people. He had surpassed his target and the total donation stood at £18,307,320.86! And the best thing was that he had been able to complete his 100 lengths well before his 100th birthday.
Today I completed my final 10 laps, and although the mission is complete - I am going to keep on going.— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) April 16, 2020
The donations stand at 15.5 MILLION pounds - wow.
Thank you all - now let's continue to support our NHS!
Images by Emma Sohl - Capture The Light Photography#walkwithtom pic.twitter.com/UhDmUD3HCO
He expressed his gratitude through his Twitter account where he wrote, "Thank you all for your amazing support. It has been a memorable experience. Thank you so much."
Thank you all for your amazing support. It has been a memorable experience. Thank you so much.@BBCNaga @BBCBreakfast @BBCNews @BBCWorld @BBCRadio2 @mrmichaelball @GMB @piersmorgan @susannareid100 @NickFerrariLBC #walkwithtom #TomorrowWillBeAGoodDay https://t.co/82tFdZCJSG— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) April 16, 2020
He's done it! 👏#CaptainTomMoore has completed his 100 laps before his 100th birthday live on #BBCBreakfast! 🙌— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) April 16, 2020
He's raised over £12 million for the #NHS
Well done @captaintommoore from everyone at the @BBC 💕 pic.twitter.com/rtil8gKKmJ
Captain Tom Moore died in 2021, at Bedford Hospital, where he was taken after being treated for pneumonia and then testing positive for COVID-19.
Cover Image Source: Just Giving