Celebrating Captain Tom Moore
The 100-Year-Old Hero Who Raised £33 Million for Charity
Captain Sir Thomas Moore, popularly known as “Captain Tom”, is a former British Army officer who became wolrd-famous for his great achievement in raising money for charity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moore served in India, the Burma campaign during the Second World War, and later became an instructor in armoured warfare. After the war, he worked as managing director of a concrete company and was an avid motorcycle racer.
On 6 April 2020, at the age of 99, he began to walk laps of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. In the 24-day course of his fundraising he made many media appearances and became a popular household name in the United Kingdom, generating much interest in his life story, earning a number of accolades and attracting over 1.5 million individual donations. He featured in a cover version of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by Michael Ball, with proceeds going to the same charity. The single topped the UK music charts and made him the oldest person to achieve a UK number one.
On the morning of his hundredth birthday the total raised by his walk passed £30 million, and by the time the campaign closed at the end of that day had increased to over £32.79 million (worth almost £39 million with expected tax rebates). His birthday was marked in a number of ways, including flypasts by the Royal Air Force and the British Army. He received over 150,000 cards, and was appointed as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College. On 17 July 2020, he was invested as a Knight Bachelor at Windsor Castle.
Moore was conscripted in the 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (8 DWR) in May 1940, stationed in Cornwall, shortly after the beginning of the Second World War. He was selected for officer training later that year, and attended an Officer Cadet Training Unit before being commissioned as a second lieutenant on 28 June 1941.
On 22 October 1941, Moore became a member of the Royal Armoured Corps. This was because 8 DWR became an armoured unit designated as the 145th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps. Later that year, he was transferred to the 9th Battalion (9 DWR) in India, which had converted to become the 146th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps. While in India he was tasked with setting up and running a training programme for army motorcyclists. He was initially posted to Bombay and subsequently to Calcutta.
He was promoted to war-substantive lieutenant on 1 October 1942 and to temporary captain on 11 October 1944.
As part of the Fourteenth Army, the so-called “Forgotten Army”, he served in Arakan in western Burma – where he contracted and survived Dengue fever. Tom returned to the UK in February 1945, to take a training course on the inner workings of the Churchill tanks, learning to become an instructor. He did not return to the regiment, remaining as an instructor and the Technical Adjutant of the Armoured Vehicle Fighting School in Bovington Camp, Dorset, until he was demobilised in early 1946.
Moore holds two Guinness World Records: as the fundraiser raising the greatest amount of money in an individual charity walk, and as the oldest person to have a number-one single on the UK charts.
He lives with one of his daughers, Hannah, and her family in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.
Moore’s autobiography, Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day (with a ghost-writer, Wendy Holden), was published by Penguin Books on 17 September 2020.
The Sunday Times No. 1 Bestseller has been widely praised, with the Daily Telegraph calling it “A wonderful life story with lessons for us all . . . beautifully written” and the Daily Mail saying “Gloriously enthralling”. Readers have described it as “uplifting” and “inspiring”.
The book has achieved an amazing rating of 4.9 out of 5 on Amazon.