Greater Baddow – This evening, Parliament has moved to pass the Captain Sir Thomas Moore Act following the death of British hero Captain Sir Thomas Moore.
The Act makes the 2nd of February every year a national holiday, to be known as Captain Sir Thomas Moore Day. This day is in celebration of the life of Captain Sir Thomas Moore, but also a day of remembrance for the Essexian people impacted by COVID-19.
It furthermore organises a public campaign and fundraiser, to raise money and spread awareness for COVID-19 and its impacts – with proceeds of the public fundraiser to be donated to charity. The link to the fundraiser can be found here.
Who was Captain Sir Thomas Moore?
Captain Sir Thomas Moore (30 April 1920 – 2 February 2021), popularly known as “Captain Tom”, was a British Army officer and centenarian, known for his achievements raising money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moore served in India, the Burma campaign during the Second World War, and later became an instructor in armoured warfare. After the war, he worked as managing director of a concrete company and was an avid motorcycle racer.
On 6 April 2020, at the age of 99, he began to walk round his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. In the 24-day course of his fundraising he made many media appearances and became a popular household name in the United Kingdom, earning a number of accolades and attracting over 1.5 million individual donations. In recognition of his efforts, he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award at the 2020 ceremony. He performed in a cover version of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by Michael Ball, with proceeds going to the same charity. The single topped the UK music charts, making him the oldest person to achieve a UK number one.
On the morning of his hundredth birthday the total raised by his walk passed £30 million, and by the time the campaign closed at the end of that day had increased to over £32.79 million (worth almost £39 million with expected tax rebates). His birthday was marked in a number of ways, including flypasts by the Royal Air Force and the British Army. He received over 150,000 cards, and was appointed as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College. On 17 July 2020, he was personally invested as a Knight Bachelor by the Queen at Windsor Castle. Moore died with COVID-19 complicated by pneumonia on 2 February 2021 in Bedford Hospital.