Inside the fight for Captain Tom's legacy: 'The hero, his daughter and the illegally built home-spa'

14 November 2023, 15:46

Captain Tom Moore (main) his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore (top r) and the Ingram-Moore family home including spa (bottom right)
Captain Tom Moore (main) his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore (top r) and the Ingram-Moore family home including spa (bottom right). Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Captain Tom Moore became the hero of nation during the pandemic and was knighted by the Queen after raising £39million for the NHS.

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But his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore has since been engulfed in a fight over an illegally built spa and pool complex as well as facing fury for pocketing £800k in cash from the sale of his books.

It was only following his death – seven months after his hundredth birthday – his legacy began to become interwoven with the actions of his own family.

So, as Tom’s daughter is ordered to pull down the Captain Tom Foundation spa, here’s a look back at Sir Tom’s family drama – from the gin and tea towel merchandise to the council-ordered demolition:

Captain Tom Moore
Captain Tom Moore. Picture: Alamy

The nation needed a hero, the long walk and the Captain Tom mini skirt

Captain Tom was about to turn 100 when the Covid lockdown scuppered his birthday plans.

He had recently fallen while unloading the dishwasher and was using a walking frame to take rehabilitative loops of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

As the NHS struggled under the pressure of the pandemic, he decided to complete 100 laps of his patio before his 100th birthday to raise money for NHS Charities Together. His initial goal was £1,000. His final fundraising total was £38million.

He became the oldest person to record a number one single when his version of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with Michael Ball sold 822,000 units.

His 100th birthday on April 30 was celebrated with an RAF flypast and well wishes from The Queen and the Prime Minister.

He was on the cover of GQ and clothes brands printed mini skirts with his face on.

A dream holiday, Cliff Richard, and the start of the Captain Tom Foundation

In September 2020, him and his family decided to set up the Captain Tom Foundation charity to support causes close to his heart: combatting loneliness, supporting bereavement, championing education and equality, and overseas aid.

By December, they were ready for a break and took Tom on what was described as his “dream holiday” to Barbados. He spent the afternoon hanging out with Cliff Richard and Russ Abbot. British Airways paid for his flights.

Shortly afterwards, Captain Tom got pneumonia and subsequently Covid, which he died from.

Captain Tom receiving his knighthood from The Queen
Captain Tom receiving his knighthood from The Queen. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Captain Tom Foundation slammed for 'damaging' NHS hero's brand, amid questions over book profits

Read More: 'It's tarnished their reputation': Neighbours of Captain Tom’s family's relief as Ingram-Moores told to bulldoze spa

Investigations into the Captain Tom Foundation begin due to management costs

In 2022, the Charity Commission announced it was reviewing the accounts of the Captain Tom Foundation. They found £160,000 was given to charities in the Foundation’s first year. But more than £162,000 had been paid in management costs over the same 12 months.

The investigation was launched after the charity paid more than £50,000 to companies run by Captain Tom’s youngest daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin, who were both trustees of the charity. Hannah resigned six weeks after the investigation.

Donations end but a row erupts over Hannah’s at-home spa

After the Charity Commission investigation began, the Captain Tom Foundation stopped accepting donations.

Hannah and her husband had plans approved to construct a Captain Tom Foundation Building in the garden of their £1.2milllion Bedfordshire home for “charitable objectives.” What actually appeared was a much larger structure than was authorised – and this included a kitchen and spa pool.

It was ordered to be demolished. But Hannah campaigned against this. Last week she lost her appeal and planning inspectors ordered her to tear it it down.

£800,000 worth of book profits and the end of the Foundation

Hannah admitted she had kept the profits from the three books Captain Tom had written, estimated to be £800,000.

 “These were my father’s books, and it was honestly such a joy for him to write them, but they were his books,” she said.

Hannah claimed Sir Tom had “specifically” said that the profits should go to her business Club Nook and there was no suggestion any money from the sales would go to charity.

The same week, Hannah’s lawyer told reporters the Captain Tom Foundation was “it seems, is to be closed down following an investigation by the Charity Commission”.

Hannah Ingram-Moore with husband Colin (left) and son Benjie (right), at Central Bedfordshire Council for a hearing to appeal against an order to demolish the unauthorised spa pool
Hannah Ingram-Moore with husband Colin (left) and son Benjie (right), at Central Bedfordshire Council for a hearing to appeal against an order to demolish the unauthorised spa pool. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Captain Tom Moore's family lose planning appeal over unauthorised spa

Read More: Woman who helped launch the Captain Sir Tom Moore charity appeal says she was silenced by Hannah Ingram-Moore

Captain Tom’s legacy, the mastermind behind his brand and accusations of ‘silencing’

Last month, a PR guru called Daisy Souster claimed she was enlisted by the Moore family to write up a press release and send it out to her media contacts.

She says she set up Captain Tom’s JustGiving page and managed his Twitter account, only to be suddenly cut out and silenced by his family.

“I was told by Hannah Ingram-Moore that I had no right to talk about my work/involvement with the PR,” she revealed on LinkedIn. “The change in attitude towards me caused me untold distress as I started to see my work accreditation taken away from me.”

Hannah has yet to comment on the allegations

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