Captain Sir Tom Moore has died at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19, his family have confirmed.
The charity fundraiser was taken to Bedford Hospital on Sunday (31 January) after being treated for pneumonia for some time and he later tested positive for coronavirus last week.
‘Nothing short of remarkable’
Sir Tom’s fundraising efforts raised more than £32 million for the NHS, after he walked 100 laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown last April.
The veteran set out to raise £1,000 from his charity challenge but after his efforts struck a chord with the nation he ended up raising a huge £32.7 million, with donations from 1.5 million supporters, before his fundraising page was closed at midnight following his 100th birthday on April 30.
He started his challenge a little over three weeks earlier, and encouraged people to continue to donate to NHS Charities Together.
In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.
Sir Tom rounded off 2020 with a trip to Barbados with his family, and his fundraising efforts were marked during the New Year's drone display in London, as his figure appeared over the O2 Arena.
In a statement, his daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira described the last year of their father’s life as “nothing short of remarkable”, and said he had got to experience things he had only ever dreamed of.
The statement reads: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime. We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.
“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.
“Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.
“The care our father received from the NHS and carers over the last few weeks and years of his life has been extraordinary. They have been unfalteringly professional, kind and compassionate and have given us many more years with him than we ever would have imagined.
“Over the past few days our father spoke a great deal about the last 12 months and how proud he felt at being able to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation.
“We politely ask for privacy at this time so we can grieve quietly as a family and remember the wonderful 100 years our father had.”
Sir Tom’s family confirmed his illness on Sunday, stating that he had needed additional help with his breathing and was being treated on a ward but not in ICU.
Following the news of his death, tributes to Captain Tom have been flooding in commending his incredible achievements.
The Royal Family said in a tweet: “The Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them.”
The flag above 10 Downing Street will fly at half-mast following the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore, and Prime Miniser Boris Johnson has spoken to Sir Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore to offer his condolences.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also paid his condolences, writing on social media: “A proud Yorkshire man. A dedicated Army Officer. A tireless fundraiser. And above all, an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace Captain Tom.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “I'm so sorry to hear that Captain Tom has passed away in hospital.
“He was a great British hero that showed the best of our country & I send my best wishes to his family at this time.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "This is incredibly sad news. Captain Tom Moore put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions.
"Britain has lost a hero."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Heartbroken to hear the news that Captain Sir Tom Moore has sadly passed away. He was a true hero, in every sense of the word, and will be mourned by millions. My thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Fitness expert Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, wrote on Instagram: “An inspiration who helped millions of people feel hopeful and optimistic during a difficult time. Rest in Peace Sir Captain Tom Moore.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “An inspiration to millions, not just in the United Kingdom, but around the world. A bright, kind light in the darkest of times. A British hero.
“I will never forget his undaunted optimism and how it helped us all to keep going. Rest in peace, @CaptainTomMoore.”
Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, added: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
“He was a great inspiration to many people with his fighting spirit and optimism during this pandemic.
“The huge amount of money he raised for the NHS showed how his efforts inspired people, not just in the UK but all around the world.
“It was a story of hope, determination and, as a man who was Keighley born and bred, of true Yorkshire grit.
“Captain Sir Tom was one of the heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic, but, as well as that, he was a remarkable man whose compassion for the pandemic compelled him to do his bit to help despite his age.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “I am deeply saddened to hear that Sir Captain Tom Moore has died. I pray for his family and friends, and I join millions across the country in mourning with them.
“Captain Tom was the very best of us. His courage, compassion, resilience, hope and generosity have been an inspiration to millions – and an example to us all. Where he walked a nation followed.
“I give thanks to God for such a long life, so well lived. May Captain Tom rest in peace.”