National hero Captain Tom Moore is set to be knighted for his fundraising efforts for NHS charities, following a nomination put forward from the Prime Minister
The World War 2 veteran raised over £32 million for NHS charities after he completed 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday in April, and is now being recognised for his efforts with a knighthood.
Captain Tom had originally set out to raise a target goal of £1,000 for NHS charities by walking laps of his 25m (82ft) garden in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire.
So far he has gone on to raise a total of £32,794,701 from more than one and a half million supporters.
The date in which Captain Tom will receive his knighthood, which has been approved by the Queen, will be officially announced later today.
During Tom’s birthday celebrations, he was promoted to the honorary rank of colonel of the Army Foundation College, in recognition of his achievements, the Queen recognises this promotion.
As his promotion to colonel was honorary, his official title after being knighted will be Captain Sir Thomas Moore under Ministry of Defence protocol.
Captain Tom said he had been “given an outstanding honour by the Queen and the prime minister”.
“I am certainly delighted and overawed by the fact this has happened to me,” he said.
“I thought this can’t be true, I’ve always said this won’t happen and it appears it actually has.
“I certainly never anticipated that this letter would arrive for me.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Mr Moore had provided the nation with “a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus”.
In a statement, Boris Johnson said Capt Tom’s “fantastic fundraising broke records” and “inspired the whole country”.
“On behalf of everyone who has been moved by his incredible story, I want to say a huge thank you. He’s a true national treasure,”
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer congratulated Capt Tom and said he had “brought inspiration to millions and helped all of us to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our NHS”.
“In his actions, Tom embodied the national solidarity which has grown throughout this crisis, and showed us that everyone can play their part in helping build a better future.”
When Tom completed the 100th lap of his garden, he had raised over £14 million for NHS Charities.
Captain Tom has also decided to set up a loneliness foundation, following concern for the many people “who are feeling so very much on their own” due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
It is not yet known when Captain Moore will receive his new title, but he has said that he hopes the Queen “is not very heavy-handed with the sword, as by then I might be a rather poor old weak soul”.