Captain Sir Tom Moore dies aged 100 after testing positive for Covid-19

2 February 2021, 16:18 | Updated: 2 February 2021, 20:01

Captain Sir Tom Moore has died aged 100
Captain Sir Tom Moore has died aged 100. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

Captain Sir Tom Moore has been hailed as a "hero in the truest sense of the word" and a "beacon of hope for the world" following his death at the age of 100.

The charity fundraiser, who captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first lockdown, died in Bedford Hospital on Tuesday morning after testing positive for Covid-19.

In a statement, his daughters Hannah and Lucy said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore obituary: The hero who inspired a nation

"We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life."

The Queen led tributes to Captain Tom, offering her thoughts to his family and confirming she would send a private message of condolence in the coming days.

The flags in Downing Street were lowered to half-mast to mark Cpt Tom's passing
The flags in Downing Street were lowered to half-mast to mark Cpt Tom's passing. Picture: No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Captain Sir Tom Moore "became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world" and was a "hero in the truest sense of the word."

Read more: Queen leads tributes to Captain Sir Tom Moore after he dies aged 100

The fundraiser collected £32 million towards the NHS last year, and was hospitalised on Sunday after being treated for pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19.

The veteran had been treated for pneumonia for some time and tested positive for the virus the week before last.

He was treated at Bedford Hospital, where his family joined him on Monday evening as he continued treatment.

The veteran's family had confirmed his illness at the weekend, releasing a statement on Twitter which said he had needed additional help with his breathing and was being treated on a ward but not in ICU.

The veteran's fundraising efforts involved walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown in April, capturing the hearts of the nation.

After setting out to raise £1,000 during his charity challenge, Captain Tom's efforts struck a chord with the nation, with praise and donations quickly flooding in.

In acknowledgement of his achievement, he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.

In a statement, Sir Tom's daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.

"We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime.

"We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.

"The last year of our father's life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he'd only ever dreamed of.

"Whilst he'd been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.

"The care our father received from the NHS and carers over the last few weeks and years of his life has been extraordinary. They have been unfalteringly professional, kind and compassionate and have given us many more years with him than we ever would have imagined.

"Over the past few days our father spoke a great deal about the last 12 months and how proud he felt at being able to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation.

"We politely ask for privacy at this time so we can grieve quietly as a family and remember the wonderful 100 years our father had."

"Thank you."

Tributes began to flood in to the national treasure.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and, in the face of this country’s deepest post-war crisis, he united us all, he cheered us all up and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.

“It’s quite astonishing that, at the age of 100, he raised more than £32million for the NHS on his own and so gave countless others their own chance to thank the extraordinary men and women who have protected us throughout this pandemic.

“He became not just a national inspiration, but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts today are with his daughter, Hannah, and all his family, and his legacy will long live after him.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer said: "This is incredibly sad news.

“Captain Tom Moore put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions.

“Britain has lost a hero."

The White House said: "We join the United Kingdom and the world in honoring the memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who inspired millions through his life and his actions."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "I'm so sorry to hear that Captain Tom has passed away in hospital.

"He was a great British hero that showed the best of our country & I send my best wishes to his family at this time."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeted: "A proud Yorkshire man. A dedicated Army Officer. A tireless fundraiser. And above all, an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace Captain Tom."

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: "An inspiration to millions, not just in the United Kingdom, but around the world. A bright, kind light in the darkest of times. A British hero.

"I will never forget his undaunted optimism and how it helped us all to keep going. Rest in peace, @CaptainTomMoore."

NHS Charities Together, for which Sir Tom raised more than £32 million, has paid tribute to the veteran.

Chief executive Ellie Orton said: "Captain Sir Tom Moore was a complete inspiration to us all and he did more than anyone to raise vital funds to support NHS patients, staff and volunteers during this crisis, when help was most needed. We owe him so much and we are devastated at today's news. Our hearts go out to his family.

"Thanks to his amazing efforts, funds have reached the length and breadth of the UK through every one of our 241 member charities, and they have made a huge difference on the ground, both to address the immediate needs of patients and staff and to support the longer-term recovery of the NHS.

"Captain Sir Tom inspired so many people to take on their own extraordinary challenges, from running marathons to swimming lakes, and he gave us all hope. He showed NHS patients and staff who were struggling that people cared, that they were looking out for them and doing what they could to support them.

"Captain Sir Tom was a one-off and he leaves the world a better place. It has been a complete privilege to be associated with him. His legacy will be felt for years to come by all of our NHS charities and the patients, staff and volunteers we support.

"When the time is right, we will put together a suitable tribute to Captain Sir Tom, in honour of everything he did for NHS charities.

"Thank you, Captain Sir Tom. We will miss you and we won't ever forget you. Our thoughts are with your family and friends."

MPs described Captain Sir Tom Moore as a "real candle in the gloom" for Britons, as they momentarily stopped debating legislation to recognise his passing.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: "A light has gone out in the world tonight, with news of the death of our very own national treasure, Captain Sir Tom Moore.

"He came into our lives when he was 99, by raising an incredible £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden with his Zimmer frame.

"He inspired us during the first Covid lockdown, raised our spirits and made us think that we can do this - we can get through this pandemic.

"A nation will be in mourning today, and our hearts go out to his family, who have lost a wonderful father and grandfather.

"Captain Sir Tom, you were a hero during the Second World War. You were a hero during some of our darkest hours. We salute you - may you rest in peace."