Tributes are being paid to World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore who touched the hearts of millions by offering a simple message of hope and self-sacrifice during the Covid-19 lockdown. He passed away on Tuesday after contracting the virus.
Moore, who raised tens of millions of pounds for the UK's National Health Service by walking up and down his garden, died at the age of 100 on Tuesday in Bedford Hospital after contracting Covid-19 and pneumonia. He had also been fighting cancer for 5 years.
Outside his home north of London, children laid flowers, with one message reading "Rest in Peace Captain Tom. We love you. X."
"You will always be our hero," read another message. "Thank you for your warmth and your wonderful smile. Rest in Peace."
Condolences poured in from Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the White House, while soccer players, school children and his family shed tears for a man who millions consider a lockdown hero.
Amid the death and gloom of the Covid-19 pandemic, Moore's wit and inspiration struck a chord with millions.
"For all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away," said Moore, dressed in a blazer and tie and displaying his war medals, after completing his walk last April.
"You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right, it might take time," Moore said.
"At the end of the day we shall all be ok again."
Raised in Yorkshire, northern England, Moore served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War Two. Always polite and dapper in public, Moore had a mischievous humour.
When asked about speculation he would be knighted by the queen, he quipped that he would find it funny to be known as "Sir Thomas Moore" - a reference to the Tudor statesman.
"Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year," Buckingham Palace said. "Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them."
He was knighted in 2020 by Queen Elizabeth at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.