The offer that sparked Captain Tom’s £33m NHS appeal: War hero started fundraising challenge after his son-in-law offered him £1 for every lap he walked of his garden – as he tells nation ‘things will get better next year’
- Daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore explained how the fundraising idea was born
- Sir Tom’s efforts earned him a Knighthood and a promotion to honorary Colonel
- National treasure led country with upbeat phrase, ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’
Captain Sir Tom Moore has revealed that ‘things will get better’ despite Christmas being different this year after his son-in-law sparked the fundraising challenge.
The centenarian, who raised millions for the NHS at the height of the coronavirus pandemic by walking laps of his garden, said Christmas ‘can’t be quite the same for everyone’ this year.
Sir Tom’s efforts earned him a Knighthood and a promotion to honorary Colonel and he was last month named GQ’s Inspiration of the Year 2020.
Captain Sir Tom Moore (pictured in April) has revealed that ‘things will get better’ despite Christmas being different this year amid coronavirus restrictions throughout the festive period
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said: ‘We have always had all of the family around us and we’ve all had a lovely Christmas lunch, with turkey and all the little bits that go with it. And that’s always been a joy.
‘And for the children, this year of course with things as they are, it can’t be quite the same for everyone.
‘But things will get better and next year, we’ll be alright.’
Sir 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.
Sir Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore (pictured), 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
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.
Sir Tom came out with his walker one lockdown weekend and her husband said, according to The Telegraph: ‘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.
The family (left to right, grandson Benji, 17, Sir Tom, Mrs Ingram-Moore and her daughter Georgia, 11) 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 described how the family were ‘not eating or sleeping’ to manage the technology, phone calls and emails while keeping the recruitment business going.
‘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.’
Sir Tom raised more than £33million for the NHS by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden throughout April.
Sir Tom was knighted by the Queen at a socially-distanced ceremony at Windsor Castle in July
He led the nation with his upbeat phrase, ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’, and has since given more than 700 media interviews.
His daughter revealed how his ‘positivity’ is an inspiration to her and their lives have ‘pivoted’ following the fundraising challenge.
The national treasure has a number of things on his bucket list which include doing a skydive, travelling to Barbados and driving along Route 66 in a Bentley.
Speaking about his personal life, Sir Tom told GQ about his unconsummated marriage to first wife Ethel and how he became a father in his forties.
He said he wasn’t worried about fatherhood passing him by, adding: ‘Negative thoughts don’t seem to be part of me. I always think of the beneficial things.’
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.