LONDON (Reuters) – Captain Tom Moore, who became a national hero in Britain after raising 33 million pounds ($40.5 million) for the National Health Service in the run-up to his 100th birthday, is to be knighted.
FILE PHOTO: Former British Army Officer Captain Tom Moore looks at a spitfire and hurricane from RAF Coningsby that fly over his house as part of celebration of his 100th birthday and a gesture of appreciation for his fundraising achievements for the NHS, in Bedfordshire, Britain, April 30, 2020. Emma Sohl/Capture the Light Photography/Handout via REUTERS
Moore becomes “Sir Tom” after a special nomination from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The World War Two veteran raised the world record sum by painstakingly completing 100 laps of his garden with the aid of a walking frame, becoming a symbol of British endurance in the face of the adversity of the coronavirus crisis.
“Colonel Tom’s fantastic fundraising broke records, inspired the whole country and provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus,” Johnson said on Tuesday.
“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.”
Last month he quipped that he would find it funny to be known as “Sir Thomas Moore” – a reference to the Tudor statesman Sir Thomas More.
Moore’s daughter said the whole family was thrilled about his knighthood.
“What an honour, and richly deserved; he is absolutely outstanding,” Hannah Ingram-Moore told BBC TV on Wednesday.
The honour is the latest bestowed on Moore. For his 100th birthday last month, Queen Elizabeth agreed that he should be made an honorary colonel and he was also made an honorary member of the England cricket team.
He holds the Guinness World Record for the most money raised by an individual through a walk.
Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by William James/Guy Faulconbridge