Boris Johnson to recognise 'heroic efforts' of war hero who raised £18m for the NHS
16 April 2020, 15:24 | Updated: 17 April 2020, 09:25
Boris Johnson is looking at ways to recognise the "heroic efforts" of war hero Tom Moore who has raised over £18 million for the NHS.
The Prime Minister's spokesman told a Westminster briefing today: "From his military contributions to his support for NHS staff, Tom has demonstrated a lifetime of bravery and compassion.
"The Prime Minister will certainly be looking at ways to recognise Tom's heroic efforts."
Meanwhile a petition calling for Captain Moore, 99, to be knighted has received more almost 500,000 signatures.
On Thursday, The Duke of Cambridge wrote to the "heroic" war veteran and also made an undisclosed donation to the fundraising efforts.
The petition calls on the government honours committee to: "Knight Tom Moore for his extraordinary achievements and phenomenal fundraising."
World War Two veteran Mr Moore finished a mammoth walking challenge and raised more than £18 million by walking 100 laps of his garden, and says he's not done yet.
Just 18 months ago, Mr Moore broke his hip, but that has been no obstacle for the war hero and fundraiser.
Initially, Mr Moore wanted to raise £1,000 for NHS charities to help with dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, but that target has been well and truly surpassed.
As he finished his final laps of his Bedfordshire garden, he was given a special guard of honour by the 1st battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.
But it isn't just people in the UK who have donated, with people in at least 53 countries adding to the fund.
The petition says: "Tom Moore is 99 years old and has raised over £18 million for the NHS by getting people to sponsor him for walking around his garden.
"This is important because Tom Moore has shown true selflessness and has the support of the country behind him."
People who have signed the petition have called Mr Moore a "hero" and a "legend".
"If anyone deserves a knighthood right now then this guy does", said one.
Another commented: "He deserves one. True hero!"
"Absolute legend. He deserves it as a 100th birthday present", said a third. "He is 99 and still fighting for his country!"
Congratulations to @CaptainTomMoore, who has completed a fundraising walk to raise more than £12m for NHS charities!— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 16, 2020
Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment surprised Tom with a Guard of Honour at a safe distance as he completed his final lap.#InThisTogether pic.twitter.com/Yqw8K8AQqs
Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari ahead of finishing this morning, Mr Moore said: "It started off as a little joke we had in our family that as I was about to turn 100, why not walk 100 laps of the garden?
"We hoped to raise £1,000 but of course I did a little bit better.
When asked what the toughest part of the feat has been, he said.
"The toughest part is the first one."
👇🎥 Cpl Blythe from @YORKS_REGT was one of the soldiers that provided a guard of honour for @captaintommoore this morning as he completed his challenge. Well done #CaptainTomMoore! pic.twitter.com/wgoMa87KtM— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 16, 2020
His daughter Hannah said: "He has said emphatically, as long as people keep donating he will keep walking."
"It's extraordinary. We've always known that we have a gem. We only put out that little that press release 10 days ago saying we'd like to raise a thousand pounds.
"And of course £1,000 is amazing, and we started to dream of five thousand.
"And now we are sharing this gem of a man with the nation, the nation have taken him to their hearts and so has the world.
"I know there is nothing like the National Health Service, and I think we can as a nation take it for granted.
"We have something that nobody else has, it's absolutely incredible.
To sign the petition, click here