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Boris Johnson calls Captain Tom a ‘point of light in all our lives’

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Colonel Tom Moore celebrated his 100th birthday today with a personalised telegram from the Queen and a poignant flypast in his honour. 

The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, the Queen’s representative in the county, delivered Captain Tom a birthday card from the monarch, telling him, ‘It was a pleasure to present it to you Sir on behalf of HM The Queen.’ 

The Queen wrote: ‘I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday. I was also most interested to hear of your recent fundraising efforts for NHS Charities Together at this difficult time. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.’

The Royals then tweeted a message to the veteran, writing on their official account: ‘Today we join people across the UK and around the world in wishing Captain Tom Moore a very happy 100th birthday.’

On an overwhelming day, Captain Tom was also promoted to Honorary Colonel by her Majesty after he captured the hearts of the nation by raising £30 million for the NHS by doing laps of his garden. 

The inspirational World War II veteran this morning soared past the £30million mark in his fundraising efforts. 

The 100-year-old was then treated to two flypasts from a Spitfire and a Hurricane to mark his big day, fighting back tears as the historic aircraft thundered across the skies. 

The Prime Minister today called the Colonel a ‘point of light in our lives’ as he wished him a happy 100th birthday and thanked him for pulling the nation together through the coronavirus pandemic. 

Boris Johnson told Colonel Tom on BBC Breakfast: ‘Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation. You’ve created a channel to enable millions to say a heartfelt thank you to the remarkable men and women in our NHS who are doing the most astounding job.

‘There is a tradition going back some years now where the Prime Minister takes a moment each day to thank someone for their service to others.

‘By recognising them as a point of light. Captain Tom, that is exactly what you are – a point of light in all our lives. So, on behalf of the whole country, thank you, and have a very special 100th birthday.’  

Captain Tom poses with his birthday card which has a personalised message from Her Majesty The Queen

Captain Tom poses with his birthday card which has a personalised message from Her Majesty The Queen

Captain Tom poses with his birthday card which has a personalised message from Her Majesty The Queen

The Queen wrote: 'I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday. I was also most interested to hear of your recent fundraising efforts for NHS Charities Together at this difficult time. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.'

The Queen wrote: 'I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday. I was also most interested to hear of your recent fundraising efforts for NHS Charities Together at this difficult time. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.'

The Queen wrote: ‘I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday. I was also most interested to hear of your recent fundraising efforts for NHS Charities Together at this difficult time. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.’

Colonel Tom Moore with his daughter Hannah, and the telegram he received from Her Majesty today

Colonel Tom Moore with his daughter Hannah, and the telegram he received from Her Majesty today

Colonel Tom Moore with his daughter Hannah, and the telegram he received from Her Majesty today 

The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, the Queen's representative in the county, delivered Captain Tom a birthday card from the monarch

The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, the Queen's representative in the county, delivered Captain Tom a birthday card from the monarch

The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, the Queen’s representative in the county, delivered Captain Tom a birthday card from the monarch

Colonel Tom fist pumped as he watched the flypast in his honour this morning. He said after the event: 'I am one of the few people here who has seen a hurricane fly past in anger, but today, they're flying past in peace.'

Colonel Tom fist pumped as he watched the flypast in his honour this morning. He said after the event: 'I am one of the few people here who has seen a hurricane fly past in anger, but today, they're flying past in peace.'

Colonel Tom fist pumped as he watched the flypast in his honour this morning. He said after the event: ‘I am one of the few people here who has seen a hurricane fly past in anger, but today, they’re flying past in peace.’ 

The newly-promoted Colonel, pictured with daughter Hannah, waved as the Hurricane and Spitfire flew above on his birthday this morning

The newly-promoted Colonel, pictured with daughter Hannah, waved as the Hurricane and Spitfire flew above on his birthday this morning

The newly-promoted Colonel, pictured with daughter Hannah, waved as the Hurricane and Spitfire flew above on his birthday this morning

There were two poignant flypasts to mark his big day today – by Army Air Corps helicopters as well as a Spitfire and Hurricane in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

There were two poignant flypasts to mark his big day today – by Army Air Corps helicopters as well as a Spitfire and Hurricane in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

There were two poignant flypasts to mark his big day today – by Army Air Corps helicopters as well as a Spitfire and Hurricane in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. 

The Prime Minister called Colonel Tom Moore a 'point of light in our lives' as he wished him a happy 100th birthday

The Prime Minister called Colonel Tom Moore a 'point of light in our lives' as he wished him a happy 100th birthday

The Prime Minister called Colonel Tom Moore a ‘point of light in our lives’ as he wished him a happy 100th birthday

The poignant flypast marked the veteran's 100th birthday this morning

The poignant flypast marked the veteran's 100th birthday this morning

The poignant flypast marked the veteran’s 100th birthday this morning 

Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore (pictured with Tom’s grandchildren Benji and Georgia), said: ‘I want to look the great British and overseas public in the eye; I sincerely want you to know that for all the joy, hope and inspiration my father has given you; you have reenergised him and given him renewed purpose’

Lord-lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis seen after delivering a personalized telegram from the Queen Colonel Moore

Lord-lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis seen after delivering a personalized telegram from the Queen Colonel Moore

Lord-lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis seen after delivering a personalized telegram from the Queen Colonel Moore

Captain Tom Moore, a former British Army Officer, has been promoted to the rank of Colonel on his 100th Birthday by the Queen after he raised £30 million for the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic

Captain Tom Moore, a former British Army Officer, has been promoted to the rank of Colonel on his 100th Birthday by the Queen after he raised £30 million for the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic

Captain Tom Moore, a former British Army Officer, has been promoted to the rank of Colonel on his 100th Birthday by the Queen after he raised £30 million for the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic

‘He is a point of light in all our lives’: Prime Minister heaps praise on Colonel Tom  

In a birthday message to Captain Tom, broadcast on BBC Breakfast, the Prime Minister said: ‘Captain Tom, I know I speak for the whole country when I say ‘We wish you a very happy 100th birthday’.

‘Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation. You’ve created a channel to enable millions to say a heartfelt thank you to the remarkable men and women in our NHS who are doing the most astounding job.

‘There is a tradition going back some years now where the Prime Minister takes a moment each day to thank someone for their service to others.

‘By recognising them as a point of light. Captain Tom, that is exactly what you are – a point of light in all our lives.

‘So, on behalf of the whole country, thank you, and have a very special 100th birthday.’

As well as congratulations from Prince Charles and Camilla, who said he makes her ‘proud to be British’, the veteran has also had a train named after him – The Captain Tom Moore – which will go into service with the new name today, Great Western Railway said. 

In a video call with Angela Rippon and Darcey Bussell, the Duchess of Cornwall said: ‘That wonderful man, Captain Tom, walking around and raising all that money – that sort of thing makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it.’ 

The promotion comes alongside a personal letter from Her Majesty and the new Colonel has also been re-presented with his Second World War Defence Medal ahead of next week’s VE Day celebrations. 

Along with the usual cake and champagne, there were two flypasts to mark his big day today.

A Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast of a Spitfire and a Hurricane was organised by the RAF to mark his birthday and he was also appointed as an honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College on his special day. 

Colonel Tom said after watching the event: ‘I am one of the few people here who has seen a hurricane fly past in anger, but today, they’re flying past in peace.’  

Appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, a delighted Colonel Tom was clearly overwhelmed by his promotion in rank. 

He said: ‘To get that honorary rank in my regiment is something I never thought I would anticipate and I never would have imagined that. And if people called me Colonel, well, that would be great wouldn’t it. 

‘I’m still Captain Tom, that’s who I really am – but if people choose to call me Colonel, well, thank you very much.’

Thanking people for their support throughout his fundraising walk, he said: ‘There has been so much kindness shown and so many people making kind remarks. It’s really outstanding; I never anticipated anything in my life like this. Thank you to everyone whoever you are.’  

As well-wishers across the globe sent 125,000 cards, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace paid tribute to Colonel Tom, saying he not only embodies ‘the spirit of our incredible veteran community but also the resolve of this nation’.  

General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, Chief of the General Staff, made the appointment, making the veteran the first Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, which trains 16 and 17-year-old soldiers. 

‘Please always remember, Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day’: Colonel’s birthday message to supporters

In a message to supporters on his 100th birthday, Captain Tom said: ‘Reaching 100 is quite something. Reaching 100 with such interest in me and huge generosity from the public is very overwhelming.

‘People keep saying what I have done is remarkable, however it’s actually what you have done for me which is remarkable.

‘I felt a little frustrated and disappointed after I broke my hip and it knocked my confidence. However, the past three weeks have put a spring back in my step. I have renewed purpose and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this exciting adventure, but I can’t keep walking forever.

‘The donations page will close at midnight this evening. NHS Charities Together still have their urgent appeal, so people can donate to them that way.

‘I am going to spend my birthday with my family, both here in person and with my daughter remotely, and then I am going to have a few days’ rest. My legs may be tired, but my mind is racing and I’m hoping to be back very soon with other ways in which I can help people, help others.

‘Please always remember, ‘Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day’. With my sincerest gratitude, Captain Tom Moore.’

He will be an ‘inspirational role model to generations young and old,’ Sir Mark said. 

The veteran, who completed a sponsored walk of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire to raise millions for the NHS through JustGiving, was informed of the promotion in a letter presented by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Miller, of the 1st Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, which also awarded him the prestigious annual Regimental Medal. 

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on his 100th birthday, Captain Tom Moore said: ‘It hardly feels any different to yesterday. I don’t know what you’re meant to feel like when you get to 100.

‘I’ve never been 100 before, so I really can’t tell you what difference there is from yesterday, today or maybe tomorrow.’

He said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ with all the birthday wishes he has received, adding: ‘It really is absolutely awesome the amount of people who’ve been so kind to make those remarks. Thank you all very much.’ 

Captain Tom has also been awarded the Freedom of the City of London to mark his 100th birthday, in recognition of his charity work.

William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Catherine McGuinness, policy chairwoman at the City Corporation, nominated the veteran and he will receive the honour at a virtual ceremony next week.

The Lord Mayor said: ‘My colleagues and I have been touched greatly by Captain Moore’s truly inspirational efforts to support the NHS by raising this astonishing amount of money.

‘It is our privilege and pleasure to grant him the Freedom of the City of London by Special Nomination, in recognition of this remarkable achievement and on a more personal level, for his generosity of spirit and commitment to this cause.’

And in yet another accolade, cricket fan Captain Tom has been made an honorary member of the England cricket team.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan said Captain Tom has been ‘the nation’s heartbeat for the last two or three weeks’.

He told the veteran: ‘You’ve done so much for the country, you’ve raised so much money for the NHS. And now I can officially call you an honorary member of the England cricket team.’

Captain Tom said: ‘It’s marvellous, isn’t it?’

He said it was ‘very difficult to put into words’ what he is experiencing.

A birthday message for Captain Tom Moore is displayed on the advertising boards in Piccadilly Circus in London this morning

A birthday message for Captain Tom Moore is displayed on the advertising boards in Piccadilly Circus in London this morning

A birthday message for Captain Tom Moore is displayed on the advertising boards in Piccadilly Circus in London this morning

The Royal Family wrote a message to the veteran, writing on their official Instagram account: 'Today we join people across the UK and around the world in wishing Captain Tom Moore a very happy 100th birthday.'

The Royal Family wrote a message to the veteran, writing on their official Instagram account: 'Today we join people across the UK and around the world in wishing Captain Tom Moore a very happy 100th birthday.'

The Royal Family wrote a message to the veteran, writing on their official Instagram account: ‘Today we join people across the UK and around the world in wishing Captain Tom Moore a very happy 100th birthday.’

A truck displays a message of thanks to the NHS and army veteran Captain Tom Moore on his 100th birthday

The nation’s hero has received an estimated 125,000 cards from well-wishers all over the world that are being kept in the hall of Bedford School

People line the streets in Marston Moretaine to applaud the efforts of Cpt Tom for raising over £30 million for the NHS

People line the streets in Marston Moretaine to applaud the efforts of Cpt Tom for raising over £30 million for the NHS

People line the streets in Marston Moretaine to applaud the efforts of Cpt Tom for raising over £30 million for the NHS

A banner marking 100th birthday of army veteran Captain Tom Moore hangs above windows, ahead of the Royal Air Force

A banner marking 100th birthday of army veteran Captain Tom Moore hangs above windows, ahead of the Royal Air Force

A banner marking 100th birthday of army veteran Captain Tom Moore hangs above windows, ahead of the Royal Air Force

The family of army veteran Captain Tom Moore, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and grandson Benji react outside his home on his 100th birthday

The family of army veteran Captain Tom Moore, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and grandson Benji react outside his home on his 100th birthday

The family of army veteran Captain Tom Moore, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and grandson Benji react outside his home on his 100th birthday

A man delivers a gift to the home of Captain Tom Moore in Bedford as he celebrates his 100th birthday

A man delivers a gift to the home of Captain Tom Moore in Bedford as he celebrates his 100th birthday

A man delivers a gift to the home of Captain Tom Moore in Bedford as he celebrates his 100th birthday

The army veteran soared past the £30million mark in his fundraising efforts today

The army veteran soared past the £30million mark in his fundraising efforts today

The army veteran soared past the £30million mark in his fundraising efforts today

Colone Tom's his determination captured the public imagination and at around 9.20 on Thursday, an hour after the RAF staged a flypast in his honour, he reached £30 million raised for NHS charities. "Thank you everyone, you are all magnificent," he wrote on Twitter after reaching the total.

Colone Tom's his determination captured the public imagination and at around 9.20 on Thursday, an hour after the RAF staged a flypast in his honour, he reached £30 million raised for NHS charities. "Thank you everyone, you are all magnificent," he wrote on Twitter after reaching the total.

The Duchess of Cornwall was among those who praised the veteran

The Duchess of Cornwall was among those who praised the veteran

Colone Tom’s his determination captured the public imagination and at around 9.20 on Thursday, an hour after the RAF staged a flypast in his honour, he reached £30 million raised for NHS charities. ‘Thank you everyone, you are all magnificent,’ he wrote on Twitter after reaching the total.

Singer Michael Ball, who along with Captain Tom, reached number one in the charts with a cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone, sang Happy Birthday to him live on air.

Ball told Captain Tom: ‘I love the bones of you, sir, and thank you for letting me be part of this journey with you.’

Ball told BBC Breakfast: ‘It’s the most beautiful story in the most bleak of times, isn’t it?

‘And he’s given us, as the Prime Minister said, a beacon of hope, a beacon of light. It’s wonderful. I’m so proud to be part of it.’    

Reacting to the birthday message from Boris Johnson, Captain Tom told BBC Breakfast: ‘To get a message from the Prime Minister is really outstanding because he has been doing so well.’

Referring to the birth of Mr Johnson’s new baby, he said: ‘We’ve got another boy into the country. Well done, Prime Minister, thank you very much for your message.’

Asked how it felt to receive letters from the royal family, Captain Tom said: ‘It’s hard to say because to get letters from the royal family really is something which I never, ever anticipated, because they are to me such good people and are doing so well. Thank you very much, all of them.’

A woman walks her dog past cards and messages outside the home of Second World War veteran Captain Tom Moore as he celebrates his 100th birthday

A woman walks her dog past cards and messages outside the home of Second World War veteran Captain Tom Moore as he celebrates his 100th birthday

A woman walks her dog past cards and messages outside the home of Second World War veteran Captain Tom Moore as he celebrates his 100th birthday

Respiratory Physiotherapy staff at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust wished 'NHS hero' Colonel Tom a happy birthday

Respiratory Physiotherapy staff at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust wished 'NHS hero' Colonel Tom a happy birthday

Respiratory Physiotherapy staff at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust wished ‘NHS hero’ Colonel Tom a happy birthday

A Happy 100th Birthday message to Colonel Tom Moore from the staff at the Lilac Ward Scarborough Hospital

A Happy 100th Birthday message to Colonel Tom Moore from the staff at the Lilac Ward Scarborough Hospital

A Happy 100th Birthday message to Colonel Tom Moore from the staff at the Lilac Ward Scarborough Hospital

'You'll never walk alone': Pictured is a message left for Colonel Tom Moore on a London Underground noticeboard

'You'll never walk alone': Pictured is a message left for Colonel Tom Moore on a London Underground noticeboard

‘You’ll never walk alone’: Pictured is a message left for Colonel Tom Moore on a London Underground noticeboard 

Pictured: A letter box painted blue to mark the 100th birthday of Second World War veteran Captain Tom Moore near Bedford

A host of well-wishers from all over the country including the Yorkshire Regiment have taken to social media to say Happy Birthday

A host of well-wishers from all over the country including the Yorkshire Regiment have taken to social media to say Happy Birthday

A host of well-wishers from all over the country including the Yorkshire Regiment have taken to social media to say Happy Birthday

Staff at Leicester General Hospital Ward 1 thank the officer for his tireless fundraising for healthcare workers

Staff at Leicester General Hospital Ward 1 thank the officer for his tireless fundraising for healthcare workers

Staff at Leicester General Hospital Ward 1 thank the officer for his tireless fundraising for healthcare workers

To celebrate his birthday, Virgin Radio presenter Chris Evans also sent Colonel Tom a London 2012 Olympic torch – believed to be the only one in existence that can still be lit – which the delighted veteran attempted to blow out. 

Colonel Tom, who is celebrating with family at home in Bedfordshire, thanked the public last night, adding: ‘It is quite extraordinary I am turning 100. It is even more extraordinary I am doing so with this many well-wishers… Tomorrow will be a good day.’

Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, added in a statement: ‘I want to look the great British and overseas public in the eye; I sincerely want you to know that for all the joy, hope and inspiration my father has given you; you have reenergised him and given him renewed purpose.

‘Watching him talking and engaging with all of you, has been one of the most joyous things in my life. I cannot thank you enough.’

Earlier, his family said he had been left ‘completely overwhelmed’ after receiving hundreds of thousands of cards from around the globe to mark his 100th birthday. 

Colonel Tom added: ‘It’s strange – one day I am 99 and then the next I am 100. To be honest, I don’t feel any different, and there is plenty of life in the old dog yet I am sure.

‘If it wasn’t for my leg I would be outside in the garden, but I know I am extremely lucky.’

Colonel Tom added that he has always been an optimist, and always tries to never be too ‘down in the dumps’ knowing he has had a ‘life fulfilled’.  

The officer had set out at the start of this month to raise £1,000 for NHS Communities – but a surge of support saw him smash his target.

After passing his initial goal in less than 24 hours, donations continued to pour in and the total surged to more than £29million.

Captain Tom has been promoted to Honorary Colonel by the Queen to mark his 100th birthday today after the World War II veteran captured the hearts of the nation by raising £29 million for the NHS by doing laps of his garde

Michael Ball, who has a number one hit with Cpt Tom with a remake of 'You'll Never Walk Alone', wished him a Happy Birthday

Michael Ball, who has a number one hit with Cpt Tom with a remake of 'You'll Never Walk Alone', wished him a Happy Birthday

Michael Ball, who has a number one hit with Cpt Tom with a remake of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, wished him a Happy Birthday

Ex England cricket captain Michael Vaughn also gave his congratulations to the cricket fan

Ex England cricket captain Michael Vaughn also gave his congratulations to the cricket fan

Ex England cricket captain Michael Vaughn also gave his congratulations to the cricket fan 

Colonel Tom Moore celebrating his 100th birthday by carrying the 2012 Olympic torch, as he completes a lap of his garden

Colonel Tom Moore celebrating his 100th birthday by carrying the 2012 Olympic torch, as he completes a lap of his garden

Captain Tom Moore has already raised nearly £30 million by walking 100 laps of his garden for NHS Charities Together,

Captain Tom Moore has already raised nearly £30 million by walking 100 laps of his garden for NHS Charities Together,

Colonel Tom Moore celebrating his 100th birthday by carrying the 2012 Olympic torch, as he completes a lap of his garden

Newly-appointed Colonel Tom holds his Yorkshire Regiment Medal next to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Miller at his home in Bedfordshire

Newly-appointed Colonel Tom holds his Yorkshire Regiment Medal next to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Miller at his home in Bedfordshire

Newly-appointed Colonel Tom holds his Yorkshire Regiment Medal next to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Miller at his home in Bedfordshire

‘Please always remember; Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day’: Colonel Tom Moore’s message on his 100th birthday

In a message to supporters on his 100th birthday, Captain Tom said: ‘Reaching 100 is quite something. Reaching 100 with such interest in me and huge generosity from the public is very overwhelming.

‘People keep saying what I have done is remarkable, however it’s actually what you have done for me which is remarkable.

‘I felt a little frustrated and disappointed after I broke my hip and it knocked my confidence. However, the past three weeks have put a spring back in my step. I have renewed purpose and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this exciting adventure, but I can’t keep walking forever.

‘The donations page will close at midnight this evening. NHS Charities Together still have their urgent appeal, so people can donate to them that way.

‘I am going to spend my birthday with my family, both here in person and with my daughter remotely, and then I am going to have a few days’ rest. My legs may be tired, but my mind is racing and I’m hoping to be back very soon with other ways in which I can help people, help others.

‘Please always remember, ‘Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day’. With my sincerest gratitude, Captain Tom Moore.’

He was inundated with support and praise for his incredible effort, with people around the world sending him birthday cards.  

It is unclear exactly how many cards he has been sent, though the number passed 120,000 a few days ago, with the cards kept at Bedford School near his home, with grandson Benjie helping to display them.   

Speaking yesterday, he said: ‘I am very comfortable and have everything I need. Covid-19 has left so many without, so please donate to those in need. Thank you.’

A family spokesman revealed that the veteran has been left ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the response to his fundraising effort. 

A statement said: ‘Captain Tom has been completely overwhelmed by the love he has received. Like many other people during this pandemic, he is not able to spend his birthday with all of his loved ones.

‘Instead Tom is staying at home with his daughter Hannah and her family, who he has been self-isolating with.

‘They will all celebrate privately and will be joined by his daughter Lucy and her family though the use of technology.

‘Captain Tom will not be leaving his house at all and asks all local people, and those following his story, to stay at home and wish him Happy Birthday from afar.’

The Second World War veteran’s fundraising effort led to an outpouring of support from all over the world. 

As well as the walking, he also recorded a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone with singer Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir, which saw even more money raised for charity.  

His cards are being held at Bedford School, attended by his 16-year-old grandson, Benjie Ingram-Moore.

Benjie said: ‘It means a lot to grandad as well as us as a family. We are hugely proud of how the nation has taken grandad to its heart. Words can’t express how much I idolise him.’

Dozens of artists, voiceover artists and photographers from across the UK also came together to make a film to celebrate the occasion. 

The thousands of cards pictured on display at Bedford School, near Colonel Tom’s home to mark his 100th birthday on Thursday

Colonel Tom is depicted in dozens of artworks in the moving film, which is soundtracked by a heartwarming poem penned especially for his centenary. 

A total of 140 volunteers including pupils, parents, teachers and alumni have been helping organise the lorry-loads of cards being delivered to wish Colonel Tom a happy 100th birthday.

His eldest daughter Lucy Teixeira said he had received at least a thousands gifts ‘of everything from chocolate and flowers’.

From Yorkshire to India: Colonel Tom Moore’s career in the military

Captain Tom Moore was conscripted into the British Army in June 1940 when he was 20, alongside all men aged 20 to 35.  

He began his military career in Otley, West Yorkshire, where he joined the 8th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment under Lieutenant Lord George Saville.

The Regiment was sent to train in Wadebridge, Cornwall where they were tasked with coastal defence amid a predicted German invasion.

A young Captain Moore was soon promoted to Corporal and sent to the officer cadet training unit in Droitwich Spa.

Here, he celebrated his 21st birthday after he passed as a Second Lieutenant.

In August 1941, he was sent to the DWR headquarters in Halifax where he joined the 9th Battalion at Winchcombe.  

The infantry battalion then converted to an armoured regiment 146th Royal Armoured Corp, though the majority of the soldiers could not drive.

In October, the unit was posted to Bombay, now Mumbai, in India. The journey took six weeks by sea, with a four-day delay in Freetown, Sierra Leone and a four-day stop in Cape Town.

Captain Moore then took a train from Bombay to Poona, before arriving at Kirkee, a town now known as Khadki.

The 9th DWR formed the 50th Indian Tank Brigade under the command of Brigadier Schreiber.

Captain Moore was then asked by the Brigadier to start a motorcycling course for the Brigade due to his expertise for the sport.    

The Brigade was then ordered to move to Calcutta – the road journey was in a monsoon and took three weeks. 

His Battalion was stationed in the Lohardaga district near Ranchi.

They then took part in two exercises in the Arakan before moving further east and south to Rangoon.

Captain Moore was then sent on a course at the approved vehicle depot in Bovington, England.

He remained here as an instructor until it was closed. 

Speaking to the Sunday People, Lucy said: ‘He is absolutely blown away and humbled by the support.’

She added she will be singing Happy Birthday to her father on BBC Breakfast today, saying: ‘And he will have cake – he loves cake.’ 

Producers at BBC Breakfast worked alongside Buckingham Palace to organise the celebrations to mark the war hero’s big day.

Tom – who currently holds the UK No1 single – will have the entire programme dedicated to his life and achievements.

A TV insider told The Sun that the team on Breakfast have been working with the palace on organising the telegram in time for the morning broadcast which they hope will come with a special message from Her Majesty.

The source said: ‘It’s going to be a really emotional day and they want to make it as memorable as possible for Tom by way of thanks for all he has done.

‘They’re lining up lots of surprises for him too. What Tom has achieved is the most incredible feat and the whole show will be dedicated to Tom and his special day.’ 

Richard Frediani, editor of BBC Breakfast, said plans were still be confirmed but added: ‘Having followed Captain Tom’s incredible story from the start the UK’s most watched morning show will make sure the nation can safely come together to celebrate Captain Tom’s 100th birthday on Thursday morning on BBC Breakfast.’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the voices praising Cpt Moore for his incredible fundraiser, with Prince William hailing the Second World War veteran as a ‘one-man fundraising machine’.

He added: ‘He’s been around a long time, he knows everything and it’s wonderful that everyone has been inspired by his story and determination.’ 

Colonel Tom became the oldest person to have a No.1 single after his duet with Michael Ball reached the top of the UK charts.

The record was previously held by Tom Jones, who reached No.1 with [Barry] Islands In The Stream aged 68 in 2006, 32 years younger than Tom is now, aged 99.

Colonel Tom, who won the hearts of the nation with his National Health Service fundraising bid, will still hold the top spot when he celebrates his 100th birthday.

His and Michael’s hit version of Liverpool Football Club anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone has also become the fastest-selling single of 2020. 

Their lead did appear to be threatened by The Weeknd, Drake and Dua Lipa, however The Weeknd backed the veteran in a tweet.

Real name Abel Tesfaye, he tweeted his support of Colonel Tom’s chart bid to his 11.8 million followers, wishing him a happy birthday. 

The former British Army Officer took to Twitter on Friday to share his gratitude to the Starboy hitmaker, 30, for supporting his song. 

Tagging the singer in his message, Colonel Tom, who was also awarded a Pride Of Britain Award, said: ‘My goodness, how gracious of you @theweeknd Benji tells me you’re rather talented and very popular! What a kind gesture. Thank you!’

Speaking from his home in Bedfordshire, where he lives with daughter Hannah and her family, Captain Tom said: ‘What wonderful news to receive today, a No.1 single and a record breaker too – my grandchildren can’t believe I am a chart-topper!

‘I have to thank Michael Ball, the NHS Voices of Care Choir and everyone behind the scenes, who shared their talents and expertise in order to raise money for the NHS, to whom we owe so much.

‘And, of course, the public for buying the single and donating – we’re in this together, and I am forever grateful for your support. And this just proves ”You’ll Never Walk Alone”.’

All of the proceeds from the single will be donated to Captain Tom Moore’s 100th Birthday Walk in aid of NHS Charities Together which supports the NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. 

DailyMail Online


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