Coronavirus: ‘Inspirational’ war veteran, 99, completes 100 laps as NHS fundraiser tops £15m

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·4-min read
99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden - raising more than 12 million pounds for the NHS.
Captain Tom Moore has achieved his goal of completing 100 laps of his garden. (PA)

A 99-year-old Second World War veteran has raised more than £15m for the NHS by completing 100 laps of his garden.

Captain Tom Moore, who lives with his family in Bedfordshire, completed the final four 25-metre lengths with a special guard of honour by the 1st battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.

After finishing his incredible feat, the military veteran said: “I’m feeling fine – I’m surrounded by the right sort of people.”

Donations on Captain Tom Moore's fundraising page topped £12m on Thursday morning. (Just Giving)
Donations on Captain Tom Moore's fundraising page topped £12m on Thursday morning. (JustGiving)
Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old veteran, completing the 100th length of his garden at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. Captain Moore has raised over 12 million pounds for the NHS after receiving donations to his fundraising challenge from around the world.
Captain Tom Moore completes the 100th length of his garden with a special guard of honour by the 1st battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. (PA)

He told BBC Breakfast: “All the people finding it difficult – and some people are finding it difficult – you’re all being very good and very brave being hemmed in your own house...

“You’ve all got to remember we will get through it in the end – it will take time, but at the end of the day we shall be okay again. The sun will shine on you again.”

Capt Moore’s original target was to raise £1,000 ahead of his 100th birthday. But donations to his Tom’s Walk for the NHS fundraiser have since soared past £15m.

His achievements were singled out by Matt Hancock during the Wednesday evening press conference at Downing Street.

99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore, with (left to right) grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia, at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden - raising more than 12 million pounds for the NHS.
Captain Tom Moore, with grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia, at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. (PA)
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In his opening address, the health secretary said: "I want to pay a special tribute today to Captain Tom Moore.

"Captain Tom, you're an inspiration to us all, and we thank you.”

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At that point, donations had surpassed £8 million, but by just after 11pm on Wednesday the figure had risen by another £2 million. By midday on Thursday, donations stood at more than £13m and by 6pm were at more than £15m.

The military veteran wrote on Twitter: "10 MILLION POUND! Virtutis Fortuna Comes.”

Earlier, he told BBC One: "I think that's absolutely enormous.

Captain Tom Moore completes 100 laps of his garden.
Captain Tom Moore served in India and Burma during the Second World War.
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"At no time when we started off with this exercise did we anticipate we'd get anything near that sort of money.

"It just shows that people have such high regard for matters of our National Health Service and it's really amazing that people have paid so much money.”

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Capt Moore began raising funds to thank NHS staff who treated him for a broken hip.

His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, told the BBC that the amount raised was "beyond our wildest expectations”.

Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old veteran, who has completed the 100th length of his garden at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, raising over 12 million pounds for the NHS with donations to his fundraising challenge from around the world. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Captain Moore aimed to achieve the feat by the time he turned 100 years old at the end of April. (PA Images via Getty Images)
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When the JustGiving page went live last week, they thought their £1,000 target was a "real stretch", she said.

"No words can express our gratitude to the British public for getting behind Tom, for making this into a heartfelt story," she added.

"He's a stoic Yorkshireman, he's an unruffled straight-down-the-line kind of person and has embraced this adventure as the next stage of his life.

"I believe that life is all about purpose, we all need purpose, and, whilst he's had a life full of purpose, he did fall and break his hip and became much less independent than he had been for the preceding 98 years, and what you have done, the British public, and everyone who's supported him, is giving him his next purpose.

"He is articulate, he's alive, he's doing this and I think he'll do this until everyone says, 'Stop, don't do it anymore’."

Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Capt Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the British Army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma.

You can donate to the Tom’s Walk for the NHS campaign at JustGiving.com.

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