‘Small’ funeral for Captain Sir Tom Moore will be held on Saturday – after he joked they would need more Victoria sponge to go around – as his family urge the public to stay home and plant a tree in his memory
The funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore will be held on Saturday in what his family said would be a ‘small’ private service as they urged the public to stay at home.
The NHS fundraising hero’s daughters Lucy Teixeira and Hannah Ingram-Moore said today that they had ‘no choice’ but to hold a basic ceremony for family only.
They added that Captain Tom had openly spoken about his funeral over the past year and had wondered if ‘perhaps the interest in him over the last 12 months would mean we would need to have more Victoria sponge cakes available for the extra guests’.
He captured the hearts of Britain with his fundraising during the first lockdown when he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday.
The Second World War veteran, who raised more than £32million for NHS Charities Together, died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.
Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden in April last year
Captain Tom and his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore at home in Bedfordshire last April
Captain Tom’s family said they understood that so many people wanted to pay their respects, but urged the public to ‘continue to support the NHS by staying at home’.
They added that they had set up an online book of condolence and people could also donate to The Captain Tom Foundation or plant a tree in his memory.
Captain Tom’s family said he had also spent ‘many enjoyable hours’ in the final few months of his life writing a book called Captain Tom’s Life Lessons.
He wanted to release this just before his 101th birthday, but his relatives said the final chapter was ‘so poignant and reading it brings us so much comfort and warmth’.
Captain Tom is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on July 17 last year
The Queen talks to Captain Sir Tom Moore and his family after he was knighted last July
They are therefore sharing the last chapter ‘as a thank you, from our father Tom and us as a family, for the love and kindness the nation and the world have shown him’.
Earlier this month, Ms Teixeira said Captain Tom would have a ‘quiet’ send-off and the family was planning an understated funeral that would be ‘suitable’ for him.
She said: ‘At the moment, my sister Hannah and I are planning a careful send-off that is suitable to him, quite quiet in a manner that he would say to us “well done, girls”.
‘I know that there are things being talked about, but my sister and I are focussing on planning the next stage and celebrating the end of his life.’
‘We have no choice but to hold a small family funeral’: Full family statement on Captain Tom’s funeral
A statement issued on behalf of his daughters Lucy Teixeira and Hannah Ingram-Moore said: ‘Over the past year our father spoke openly about his death and his funeral, and had wondered out-loud if perhaps the interest in him over the last 12 months would mean we would need to have more Victoria sponge cakes available for the extra guests.
‘Sadly, like so many other families affected by the pandemic, we have no choice but to hold a small family funeral, which will take place this Saturday. Whilst we understand so many people wish to pay their respects to our father, we ask that the public and the press continue to support the NHS by staying at home.
‘We have been contacted by so many people asking what they can do to honour our father, so we have set up an online book of condolence. People can also donate The Captain Tom Foundation, plant a tree in his memory or donate to a charity of your choice.
‘In the last few months of his life, our father had spent many enjoyable hours writing a book he chose to call Captain Tom’s Life Lessons, which he planned to release just before his 101st birthday. Sadly, he’ll never get to share this with you personally.
‘The final chapter is so poignant and reading it brings us so much comfort and warmth, so we share the last chapter now as a thank you, from our father Tom and us as a family, for the love and kindness the nation and the world have shown him.’