Captain Sir Tom Moore: NHS hero honoured with military flypast and honour guard

27 February 2021, 12:28 | Updated: 27 February 2021, 13:19

Captain Sir Tom Moore's family held a private funeral for the NHS fundraiser
Captain Sir Tom Moore's family held a private funeral for the NHS fundraiser. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Captain Sir Tom Moore has been honoured with a military flypast and honour guard as the veteran and NHS charity fundraiser is laid to rest.

A Second World War-era C-47 Dakota, part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, performed a flypast over the funeral service.

Captain Sir Tom, who raised more than £32 million for NHS charities, died at Bedford Hospital on 2 February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.

His daughter Lucy Teixeira, 52, said the service will be "quite spectacular". She added: "There's just going to be the eight of us under full Covid restrictions, we will honour him the best way we possibly can."

The eight members of his immediate family will include his two daughters, Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy, four grandchildren, and his sons-in-law.

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore's funeral to take place on Saturday

Read more: Sir Tom would ‘chuckle’ at plans to plant trees in his honour, daughter says

A view of the Order of Service for the funeral of Captain Tom Moore
A view of the Order of Service for the funeral of Captain Tom Moore. Picture: PA

A number of special items have been placed on Captain Sir Tom Moore's coffin, including a replica of his service cap from the Second World War and a wreath from the Yorkshire Regiment.

Also among the items are his campaign medals, including the Burma Star, and his knighthood medal stitched on to a cushion.

There is also a specially commissioned sword engraved with the motto of the Yorkshire Regiment on one side - "Fortune favours the brave".

Engraved on the other side is his own personal motto, "Tomorrow will be a good day".

Members of the Yorkshire Regiment lifted Sir Captain Tom Moore's coffin from the hearse and are preparing to bear it into Bedfordshire Crematorium.

Read more: UK joins together in national clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore

Watch: Captain Sir Tom Moore's grandson pays incredible tribute on LBC

Members of the Armed Forces at the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore
Members of the Armed Forces at the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Picture: PA

Singer Michael Buble has also recorded a version of the song Smile to be played at the funeral.

As well as Buble's version of Smile, the charity single Sir Tom recorded with Michael Ball, You'll Never Walk Alone, was also played during the service, along with The White Cliffs Of Dover by Dame Vera Lynn and I Vow To Thee My Country by Alife Boe.

The celebrant conducting the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore said: "It's quite incredible to think that 163 countries donated to (Sir Tom's) fundraiser - that's almost the whole world.

"As wonderful as we think our NHS is, people from other countries really aren't going to be interested in our health, so it seems obvious to me that they were really investing in Captain Tom and the values he stood for.

"He was a proud British veteran and a gentleman, he lived in a multi-generational environment, not only would that have kept him young, but also symbolises the importance of family to him.

"What sacrifices did he and his peers make in defence of our freedom, a man with a strong moral compass, a strong work ethic, a sense of pride and an indomitable spirit.

"He serves as an inspiration to us all to never give up and always stay strong knowing tomorrow will be a better day."

The coffin of Captain Sir Tom Moore is carried by members of the armed forces during his funeral
The coffin of Captain Sir Tom Moore is carried by members of the armed forces during his funeral. Picture: PA
A memorial plaque in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on the day of Captain Sir Tom Moore's funeral
A memorial plaque in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on the day of Captain Sir Tom Moore's funeral. Picture: PA

Captain Sir Tom's Moore daughter Lucy Teixeira laughed as she recalled how her father talked to her about concrete pipes to help calm her wedding-day jitters.

She also recalled the awful day Sir Tom lost his wife - the same day he had taken his grandson to see the type of tank he had served in during the war at a military museum.

"We often talked about milestones in your life and laughed about the possibility of you reaching your 100th birthday," she said.

"You said 'it's just a number, I don't feel any different' and right to the end you ignored the number and kept on going, urging us all to keep on going with the mantra 'tomorrow will be a good day'.

"You have always influenced me with your strength, your energy, your drive, to get out of bed with a spring in your step and a purpose in mind.

"I know you will be watching us chuckling, saying 'don't be too sad as something has to get you in the end'.

"Daddy, I am so proud of you, what you achieved your whole life and especially in the last year, you may be gone, but your message and your spirit lives on."

Captain Sir Tom Moore's grandson Benjie said: "If there is a lesson I have learned from living with you the last 13 years, it's the power of positivity and kindness, I truly do not believe I would be the person I am today without your sound guidance.

"Our chats mid-afternoon that were only supposed to last a few minutes quickly turned into hour-long conversations, quickly delving into so many thought-provoking avenues. These are memories I will never forget and ones I am incredibly grateful to have.

"I can't imagine how many pieces of my sports equipment would have stayed broken without your ever-trusted super glue.

"I suppose the tables turned in the later years when so often it was Georgia or me fixing something on your phone."

He continued: "Growing up with you every day, the smell of porridge as I came downstairs was almost a sign to know everything was okay."

Benjie added that his grandfather sneaking leftovers to the dogs "filled the morning with more than a bit of joy".

There are plans to plant trees around the world in his honour, and his family hope that the Trees for Tom initiative will result in a wood in his home county of Yorkshire and the reforestation of part of India, where he served during the Second World War.

Once Covid-19 restrictions permit, the family say they will place Sir Tom's ashes in Yorkshire, with his parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.

Captain Sir Tom's career: The war, his business days and the incredible NHS walk

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "In national emergencies ordinary people do extraordinary things and inspire us all to pull together to overcome adversity.

"Few will have heard of Sir Tom before this crisis but his contribution and example now lives on in us all.

"The armed forces are immensely proud to contribute to the celebration of his extraordinary life of service."