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

2 February 2021, 16:48 | Updated: 2 February 2021, 19:30

The Queen has led tributes to Captain Sir Tom Moore
The Queen has led tributes to Captain Sir Tom Moore. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

The Queen has led tributes to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who has died aged 100 after testing positive for Covid-19.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the thoughts of the Queen and the royal family were with the military veteran and his family, and confirmed she will send a private message of condolence to Sir Tom's family in the coming days.

The Queen took the unusual step of honouring Sir Tom in the midst of the pandemic when she knighted him during an investiture, just for the veteran, in recognition of his efforts raising more than £32 million for the NHS.

Sir Tom was joined at the Windsor Castle ceremony by his family and on the day said he was "absolutely overawed" to be knighted.

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

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A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Cpt Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year.

"Her thoughts, and those of the Royal Family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world."

Sir Tom was admitted to Bedford Hospital earlier this week after testing positive for the virus, and was joined by his family on Monday evening.

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Chief nurse at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said in a statement: "It has been our immense privilege to care for Captain Sir Tom Moore.

"We share our deepest condolences and sympathies with his family and loved ones at this incredibly sad time.

"We'd also like to say thank you, and pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore for the remarkable contribution he has made to the NHS."

The London Eye has also been lit up in red, white and blue to mark the passing of Sir Tom, while Blackpool tower has also been lit up to pay respect.

General Manager at the attracting Sunny Jouhal said: "In honour of the incredible Captain Sir Tom Moore, we will be lighting up the city skyline in red, white and blue this evening.

"The last year has been hugely challenging for so many and he was able to give us a glimmer of hope, helping to bring the country together at a time when we needed it most. Our team are sending their heartfelt thoughts and condolences to his family."

The London Eye lit up red, white and blue for Captain Sir Tom Moore
The London Eye lit up red, white and blue for Captain Sir Tom Moore. Picture: Merlin Entertainments

Political leaders have been tweeting their tributes to Sir Tim as well, with the Downing Street flags lowered at half-mast and the Prime Minister labelling him a "hero in the truest sense of the word."

Boris Johnson said: "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 is quite astonishing that at the age of 100 he raised more than £32 million for the NHS, and so gave countless others their own chance to thank the extraordinary men and women who have protected us through the pandemic.

"He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family."

Flags are flown at half-mast outside Downing Street following the death of Sir Tom
Flags are flown at half-mast outside Downing Street following the death of Sir Tom. Picture: 10 Downing Street

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer celebrate how Sir Tom "put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions".

"Britain has lost a hero," he added.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: "Heartbroken to hear the news that Captain Sir Tom Moore has sadly passed away. He was a true hero, in every sense of the word, and will be mourned by millions. My thoughts are with his family at this very difficult 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."

Sir Tom's daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said they were "so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life" and "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," they added.

"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."

Celebrities have also been paying tribute, with fitness expert Joe Wicks - known for his lockdown workout streams - wrote on Instagram: "An inspiration who helped millions of people feel hopeful and optimistic during a difficult time. Rest in Peace Sir Captain Tom Moore."

Footballing legend David Beckham has hailed Captain Sir Tom Moore as the "very best of British" following his death at the age of 100.

He described him as a "true hero" on Instagram, adding: "What he achieved for our NHS will never be forgotten.

"Tom, you were truly the very best of British.

"When our country and our world was struggling you gave us hope, put a smile on our faces and made us believe that tomorrow would be a good day. Rest in Peace Sir Tom."

Editor in Chief of GQ Dylan Jones, who chose to feature Sir Tom on the cover of the magazine, said: "Captain Tom was one of the heroes of 2020, and he was the first person we thought of celebrating when we started planning last year's Men Of The Year Awards.

"Not only was he the oldest person ever to grace our cover, he was one of the most gracious. He was a hero, a genuine old-fashioned hero, and I feel blessed that we were in his orbit, albeit for a very brief time."

TV and radio presenter Amanda Holden called Sir Tom an "absolute joy of a man".

"A National Hero who brought us all together and shone so much light in such a dark time ... his indomitable spirit and sense of humour taught us so much ... and will live on thanks to the enormous legacy left behind," she wrote on Instagram.

"My love goes out to your wonderful family."

One Direction star Louis Tomlinson said Sir Tom was "a truly remarkable man whose message lives on as inspiration for us all to do more, whatever our inspiration".

Singer Michael Ball, who scored a number one single alongside Sir Tom with their cover of You'll Never Walk Alone, was among those to share a tribute.

He wrote on Twitter: "Rest in peace Captain Tom Moore.

"A wonderful life so well lived and a hero and fighter to the very end. So very sad."

Rowland White, the editor who worked with Captain Sir Tom Moore on his book Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day, also paid tribute to him.

In a long message posted online, he wrote of Sir Tom: "His year in the public eye could not have been more at odds with the life he'd led beforehand, but his autobiography, Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day, showed us that the qualities that saw Tom inspire the country he loved had been there all along".

Penguin books editor White ended his message: "His last battle against a fearsome enemy was no less heroic than his first. Captain Tom, we salute you. It was our honour and privilege to be your publisher".