• Bethany Thomas

The legacy of Sir Captain Tom Moore

In the darkest twelve months in living memory, the light provided by the dedication, goodwill and perseverance of so many has made the ordeal bearable. No one epitomises this light-bringing diligence more than Sir Captain Tom Moore, army veteran and garden walker, who raised over £30 million for the NHS. His death on 2 February 2021 saw a nation in mourning: a testimony to the legacy of an unassuming great-grandfather from Yorkshire.

On 6 April 2020, 99-year-old Thomas Moore began to walk one hundred lengths of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together. His ambition to raise £1000 before his 100th birthday on 30 April now looks modest, and his success saw him receive a knighthood, and his achievements didn’t stop there. Captain Tom received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award and later performed in a cover of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone', with proceeds also going to NHS Charities Together. His birthday was celebrated with flypasts by the Royal Air Force and the British Army and with an appointment as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College. Aside from titles, the British public made their adoration of the legend clear by sending over 150,000 cards.

The Captain’s contribution in the pandemic has indubitably been emotional as much as financial. His relentless optimism, devotion to his nation and love for his family, friends and supporters touched the hearts of millions across Britain and his legacy lies here above all. By lifting the morale of a country in its darkest days, Captain Tom will remain a symbol of hope throughout the pandemic and beyond.

The Captain Tom Foundation demonstrates the extent of the veteran’s legacy and the charity hopes to carry on his good work; their mission is ‘to help others see and believe there is always hope, however dark things may seem.’ This optimism and hope is the resounding message of Captain Tom’s work, and it will remain in the British memory as a bright light in the darkest of moments.

Edited by Victoria Sales

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