Captain Sir Tom Moore has been awarded the freedom of his home town for his outstanding fundraising efforts.
He described becoming an honorary freeman of Keighley, West Yorkshire, as a “privilege”, adding: “I remain truly humbled and grateful for the support I have received from far and wide but the warm reception I have received coming home is particularly special to me.
“It really is great to be back.”
The 100-year-old Second World War veteran, who has raised almost £33 million for the NHS, was greeted by an honour guard from members of the Yorkshire Regiment for the special ceremony at the Town Hall Square in Keighley town centre.
His family also watched as a plaque was unveiled in his honour.
— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) July 31, 2020
Captain Sir Tom had set out to raise £1,000 by walking 100 laps of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday on April 30.
His efforts struck a chord with national feeling, and praise and donations flooded in with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he “provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus” and recommended he be knighted.
Becoming an honorary freeman of Keighley is the highest honour the council can bestow on anyone, according to town mayor Peter Corkindale.
He hoped Captain Sir Tom could see “just how proud we are of him and his wonderful achievements”.
Mr Corkindale said: “I know from speaking to many people in Keighley, the exploits of Captain Sir Tom Moore during lockdown was just the pick-me-up they needed.
“I am not sure he will ever realise just what a difference he has made to so many people up and down the country.”