Arise Sir Tom! Colonel Tom Moore is to be KNIGHTED after raising astonishing £39million for the NHS
He has lifted the spirits of the nation with his £39million fundraising effort to celebrate turning 100.
Now Colonel Tom Moore – who has already been promoted from captain – is to be recognised further with a knighthood, it was revealed last night.
The Second World War veteran received a special nomination from the Prime Minister, which is to become the first of dozens of coronavirus crisis gongs.
Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure and said he had provided a ‘beacon of light’ through the Covid-19 crisis.
Sir Tom has raised a remarkable £32.8million for NHS charities by walking more than 100 laps of his garden on his wheeled frame before his 100th birthday last month. The figure went up £39million with Gift Aid.
His honour, which has been approved by the Queen, will formally be announced today. Last night Sir Tom said: ‘I am absolutely overwhelmed.
‘Never for one moment could I have imagined to be awarded with such a great honour. I’d like to thank Her Majesty the Queen, the Prime Minister and the great British public. I will remain at your service. This started as something small and I’ve been overwhelmed by the gratitude and love from the British public and beyond.
‘We must take this opportunity to recognise our frontline heroes of the National Health Service who put their lives at risk everyday to keep us safe.’
The Government says other ‘unsung heroes’ who have been fighting coronavirus will also be honoured in the coming months.
A special honours list is to be released in the autumn to recognise all those who have distinguished themselves during the crisis, according to The Sun.
The Prime Minister recommended Sir Tom be exceptionally honoured for his fundraising achievements, No 10 said.
Mr Johnson said: ‘Colonel Tom’s fantastic fundraising broke records, inspired the whole country and provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus.
‘On behalf of everyone who has been moved by his incredible story, I want to say a huge thank you. He’s a true national treasure.’
Further plans on how frontline heroes will be honoured will be set out in the coming months, an official statement said.
Details will be given on ‘how the public will be able to play their part’.
A Government spokesman said: ‘We know there is huge appetite to say thank you to all those supporting the nation during this emergency and doing incredible things day in, day out, up and down the country.
‘We will ensure these unsung heroes are recognised in the right way, at the right time.’
Sir Tom, who lives with his younger daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, her husband and their two children in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, began his JustGiving page with the aim of raising £1,000 for NHS workers by walking 100 laps of the family’s garden before his 100th birthday.
Yesterday the sum raised for NHS Charities Together stood at nearly £33million.
His 100th birthday on April 30 was marked with several accolades. The former soldier in 145th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps was made an honorary colonel by the Queen and an honorary member of the England cricket team.
He was also awarded the Freedom of the City of London.
A Spitfire and Hurricane soared over his home in a flypast organised by the RAF, while a sea of birthday cards – 140,000 sent from all over the world, some with gifts – went on display at his grandson Benjie’s school in Bedford.
Sir Tom, whose wife Pamela died in 2006 after 38 years of marriage, also released a charity single, You’ll Never Walk Alone, with singer Michael Ball. It quickly topped the charts, making him the oldest artist ever to have a UK No 1.
Prince William sends a ‘huge message of thanks’ to frontline workers from ‘myself and Catherine’ in new clip and says he knows ‘all too well’ from his time with the air ambulance it’s ‘easy to forget your own needs too’
Prince William has sent a message of support to NHS workers on the frontline, reminding them ‘not to forget their own needs as they care for others’.
Shared to Our Frontline UK charity’s Twitter page, William, 37, is seen at his home office in Amner Hall, Norfolk, where he is isolating with Kate, 38, and their children Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1.
Sharing his message of thanks from ‘Catherine and I’, William reminisced over his time working for the air ambulance service until 2017, and admitted that he ‘knows all too well that frontline workers are keen to put on a brave face’.
Our Frontline is a new charity intiative providing around-the-clock mental health, a partnership between Shout, Samaritans, Mind Hospice UK and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Wearing his favouried outfit of a bright blue jumper and pale blue shirt, William said: ‘I wanted to say a huge thank you from myself and Catherine for all that you are doing to keep everyone safe.
‘You and your families are making huge sacrifices, and we want you to know that the whole country is enormously proud of you.
‘The challenges you are facing day in and day out are unprecedented. Even in normal circumstances, front line work can take its toll, not just on your physical health, but also on your mental wellbeing.
‘From my time at the air ambulance, I know all to well how determined frontline workers to put a brave face on and keep going.
‘When you spend all day taking care of others, it is easy to forget that you need to take care of yourself too, but it’s okay to say when you’re not feeling okay, and there is support available to you – if and when you need it.
‘Our frontline is a new initiative, which provides around the clock mental health support to frontline staff and key workers, in these unprecedented times’.
Prince William worked as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance for 18 months between 2015 and 2017, before stepping down to take on more Royal roles on behalf of the Queen.
Last month, William became the patron of the London Air Ambulance Charity, which was established in 1989, and provides rapid emergency care in the capital.
As patron, the Duke of Cambridge is set to champion the important work carried out by the group across the capital.
The Cambridge family are self isolating at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, having left their Kensington Palace home amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Prince William, 37, Kate Middleton, 38, Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, are bunking down at the spacious royal residence, and the Cambridge children are said to be enjoying roaming the acres of land.
William and Kate, whose main residence is Kensington Palace, have been sharing glimpses at their offices in their 10-bedroom country mansion, announcing in March that they were launching a £5million scheme to support the nation’s mental health at a time of high anxiety during the lockdown.