Boris Johnson today called Captain Sir Tom Moore ‘an inspiration to everybody in this country during this pandemic’ as the 100-year-old was admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
The war veteran’s family last night shared news of his hospital admissions and revealed how he had suffered with pneumonia over the ‘past few weeks’ before also testing positive for Covid-19 a week ago.
He was taken to Bedford Hospital in Bedfordshire yesterday after requiring ‘help with his breathing’, but is not currently in intensive care. A family spokesman also revealed that Captain Tom has not had the coronavirus vaccine because of his gruelling battle with pneumonia.
Captain Tom, originally from Keighley, West Yorkshire, went on a dream holiday to Barbados on December 11 after British Airways offered him free flights to the Caribbean. He has not been seen in public since the pre-Christmas break, but tweeted as he departed: ‘The support I have been shown in 2020 has given me renewed energy and today I get to tick something off my bucket list.’
Today the PM paid tribute to Captain Tom, who became a national treasure during the first coronavirus lockdown after he raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
He told Sky News during a visit to Batley, West Yorkshire: ‘I spoke to the family last night and all I can say is Captain Tom Moore has been an inspiration to everybody in this country during this pandemic and I think our thoughts and our prayers are now with him and with his family.’
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan today called Captain Tom a ‘tough cookie’ as he revealed the centenarian smiled at the messages of support he has received.
Mr Morgan told viewers on the ITV breakfast show: ‘All our very best wishes got to Captain Sir Tom Moore and his family after the terrible news yesterday that he’s been admitted to hospital.
‘He’s a tough cookie, Captain Tom, we know that. He came through World War Two and a very serious bout himself with ill health which is why he’s so very grateful to the NHS.’
He also told viewers he spoke with Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah last night, adding: ‘I had a little exchange with Hannah last night, sent our very best wishes. She was able to tell Tom the message, he smiled and was grateful for all the messages he’s getting from all over the world.’
Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in April) became a national treasure during the first coronavirus lockdown after he raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday
Boris Johnson today called Captain Tom ‘an inspiration to everybody in this country during this pandemic’ as the 100-year-old was admitted to hospital with coronavirus
Captain Tom receiving his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle. He raised almost £33 million for the NHS
Last night celebrities, politicians, NHS staff and Britons across the country sent Captain Tom their best wishes
From Yorkshire to India: Colonel Tom Moore’s career in the military
Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS
Captain Tom Moore was conscripted into the British Army in June 1940 when he was 20, alongside all men aged 20 to 35.
He began his military career in Otley, West Yorkshire, where he joined the 8th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment under Lieutenant Lord George Saville.
The Regiment was sent to train in Wadebridge, Cornwall where they were tasked with coastal defence amid a predicted German invasion.
A young Captain Moore was soon promoted to Corporal and sent to the officer cadet training unit in Droitwich Spa. Here, he celebrated his 21st birthday after he passed as a Second Lieutenant.
In August 1941, he was sent to the DWR headquarters in Halifax where he joined the 9th Battalion at Winchcombe.
The infantry battalion then converted to an armoured regiment 146th Royal Armoured Corp, though the majority of the soldiers could not drive.
Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20
In October, the unit was posted to Bombay, now Mumbai, in India. The journey took six weeks by sea, with a four-day delay in Freetown, Sierra Leone and a four-day stop in Cape Town.
Captain Moore then took a train from Bombay to Poona, before arriving at Kirkee, a town now known as Khadki.
The 9th DWR formed the 50th Indian Tank Brigade under the command of Brigadier Schreiber.
Captain Moore was then asked by the Brigadier to start a motorcycling course for the Brigade due to his expertise for the sport.
The Brigade was then ordered to move to Calcutta – the road journey was in a monsoon and took three weeks.
His Battalion was stationed in the Lohardaga district near Ranchi. They then took part in two exercises in the Arakan before moving further east and south to Rangoon.
Captain Moore was then sent on a course at the approved vehicle depot in Bovington, England. He remained here as an instructor until it was closed.
Last night celebrities, politicians, NHS staff and Britons across the country sent Captain Tom their best wishes, with Michael Ball, who scored a number one hit with the veteran, writing: ‘Love and prayers for @captaintommoore and his lovely family as he battles this b****** of a virus. Stay strong Sir. We are all here for you.’
Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer wrote: ‘The whole nation hopes you get well soon @captaintommoore. You’ve been an inspiration to us all throughout this crisis.’
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘Thank you to our brilliant NHS for taking care of @CaptainTomMoore. Hoping for a speedy recovery and to see Captain Tom back home with his family soon.’
Mr Johnson tweeted: ‘My thoughts are very much with @CaptainTomMoore and his family. You’ve inspired the whole nation, and I know we are all wishing you a full recovery.’
ITV host Lorraine Kelly compared Captain Tom to her grandfather, saying this morning: ‘It’s like a member of our family isn’t well. He’s so precious and he does feel like my granddad, you feel as if you really know him.
‘You forget he’s 100. We’re sending him all our love. We’re all really worried and concerned.’
BBC Radio 2 host Zoe Ball tweeted: ‘Sending all the love and strength to Sir Captain Tom Moore x.’
Britain’s Got Talent host Amanda Holden said: ‘Goodness me. Wishing you a speedy recovery and look forward to a cup of tea with you when it’s safe.’
Only Fools and Horses star John Challis said: ‘Please give my very best wishes to your wonderful father. Hurry home Sir.
Television presenter Anneka Rice added: ‘All I can think of is Captain Tom to be honest.’
London Ambulance Service worker Sean Ash said: ‘Get well soon Tom! We are all rooting for you.’
And RAF Group Captain Jo Lincoln said: ‘Thinking of you all. Come on Captain Sir Tom, you are a warrior, a true gentleman and the nation’s hero.’
Ordinary Britons also sent their best wishes, with one saying: ‘I think it’s fair to say the whole country and may around the world are thinking of you all and in our own ways praying Sir Captain Tom makes a full and speedy recovery!’
A second said: ‘Get well soon Captain Tom – the people are with you and we all want to see you up and about soon – sending you and your family lots and lots of love.’
While a third added: ‘Get well and please come home soon. Thoughts and prayers with you all.’
Captain Tom became a national treasure during the first coronavirus lockdown after he raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
His fundraising led to a slew of personal honours and he was knighted by the Queen and also made an honorary army colonel.
Captain Tom also became GQ magazine’s oldest cover star and scored a number one hit with Michael Ball in a charity recording of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
In December, he and his family also jetted off to Barbados after British Airways offered them a free flight.
The family statement announcing Captain’s Tom’s illness was posted on his Twitter page and read: ‘I wanted to update everybody that today (Sunday 31 January) my father was admitted to hospital.
‘Over the last few weeks he was being treated for pneumonia and last week tested positive for Covid-19.
‘He was at home with us until today when he needed additional help with his breathing. He is being treated in a ward although he is not in ICU.
‘The medical care he has received in the last few weeks has been remarkable and we know that the wonderful staff at Bedford Hospital will do all they can to make him comfortable and hopefully return home as soon as possible.
‘We understand that everyone will be wishing him well. We are of course focussing on my father and will update you when we are able to.’
The message was signed off ‘Hannah x’.
Captain Tom set out to raise £1,000 from his lockdown charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.
Captain Tom Moore, with (left to right) grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia
He was named GQ’s Inspiration of the Year 2020 and also scored a No. 1 single, wrote an autobiography and is helping to set up a charity
In an interview with the magazine , Sir Tom opened up about his 20-year first marriage, his beloved late wife’s battle with dementia, and how he wants to be there for ‘lonely people in need of help
He wrote an autobiography and is helping to set up a charity.
He also launched a £35.95 bottle of gin, his own podcast and there is even a move in the works after UK companies Fred Films and Powder Keg Pictures bought the rights to the feature about the former British Army captain.
The centenarian smiled as he sat in a plane seat emblazoned with his name in a picture shared to his official Twitter page as he revealed the flight ticked an item ‘off his bucket list’.
He said at the time: ‘I never thought that, at the age of 100, I would get to travel again. I’m so grateful to everyone who has made this possible. The support I have been shown in 2020 has given me renewed energy and today I get to tick something off my bucket list.’
Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, a recruitment officer, from Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, revealed the fundraising idea came about after her husband Colin challenged his father-in-law to to do 100 laps before his birthday.
Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in his BA plane seat) and his family jetted off to Barbados after British Airways offered him free flight in December
Sir Tom Moore (pictured front) along with his grandchildren Benji (left), Georgia (middle left), his daughter Hannah (middle right) and her husband Colin Ingram (right) as they enjoyed the Barbados sunshine
Mrs Ingram-Moore revealed how her father had a fall in their kitchen at the end of 2018 and had bought himself a treadmill to rehabilitate after he fractured his hip.
The veteran came out with his walker one lockdown weekend and her husband said: ‘Carry on walking, Tom, we’ll give you a pound a lap. Do 100 by your 100th birthday.’
The family were forced to cancel his birthday party in April because of Covid-19 restrictions but set up a JustGiving page in the hope they would raise £1,000.
She told how the total went to £2,000 overnight and £12 million a month later after Sir Tom featured on BBC Breakfast and Michael Ball spoke to him on BBC Radio Two.
She described how the family were ‘not eating or sleeping’ to manage the technology, phone calls and emails while keeping the recruitment business going.
Captain Sir Thomas Moore poses for the media after receiving his knighthood from the Queen at a ceremony at Windsor Castle in July
Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, a recruitment officer, from Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, revealed the fundraising idea came about after her husband Colin challenged his father-in-law to to do 100 laps before his birthday
‘Dad could see we were so tired and he said: ”Should we make this stop? I’m worried for you.” It was a watershed moment,’ Mrs Ingram-Moore said.
She continued: ‘We said: ‘No, because what you are doing is having such a positive impact on people around the world. We just have to manage it.’
In an interview with GQ after his award, the veteran opened up about his 20-year first marriage, his beloved late wife’s battle with dementia, and how he wants to be there for ‘lonely people in need of help’.
The 100-year-old broke down as he discussed the moment he realised he would have to put his wife into a care home.
He told the magazine: ‘Taking her… she didn’t really know what we were doing. And I felt… I felt I was letting her down.
‘I realise it was the best that could be done. I realise my effort wasn’t enough.’
The national treasure also joked about installing two stair lifts at his home and how he enjoys ‘lots of sugar’ on his porridge every morning, ‘because cholesterol is the least of his worries at 100’.