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Captain Tom Moore receives over 125,000 cards ahead of 100th birthday
27 April 2020, 21:06
More than 125,000 cards have been sent from across the globe to Captain Tom Moore ahead of his 100th birthday.
Bedford School, attended by Capt Moore’s grandson Benjie Ingram-Moore, has been flooded with mountains of birthday cards from well-wishers.
The WW2 hero captured the hearts of the nation after raising more than £29 million for the NHS by walking 100 lengths of his garden.
The fundraiser's original target of £1,000 was broken in around 24 hours and he extended his challenge to 200 laps after he completed the first 100 two weeks ahead of schedule.
Cards have been sent by well-wishers including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Dame Kelly Holmes and England captain Harry Kane.
A total of 140 members of school staff, Old Bedfordians, parents and pupils have adhered to social distancing rules and spent 1,750 hours to open each card and create a spectacular display in the school’s Great Hall.
Benjie, who managed the social media operation for his grandad’s fundraising, said: “The volume of cards that have been sent to grandad is just astonishing.
“So many of the cards are truly heartfelt with thousands from young children who have taken the time to use their artistic talent and write a personal message.
“Another £60,000 has been generously been donated via his birthday cards.
“The swathes of birthday cards and messages from celebrities including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Dame Kelly Holmes and England captain Harry Kane have left Grandad speechless and more than made up for his cancelled birthday plans.
“He is truly humbled by the response to his walking in the garden.”
The 16-year-old added: “It means a lot to grandad as well as us as a family. We are hugely proud of how the nation has taken grandad to its heart.
“Words can’t express how much I idolise him.”
Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Captain Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma.
In another tribute to Captain Tom, all mail sent from Monday will be stamped with a special postmark in his honour.
The Royal Mail postmark, which will be applied to all stamped post between April 26 and May 1, reads: "Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020."
He also topped the Official Big Top 40 with his heartwarming rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball, going straight in at number one.
Bedford School Head Master James Hodgson said: “The story of Captain Tom is one that the entire country is talking about.
“The whole school community is rightly proud of what Benjie has helped his grandad achieve and it was only right that we offered the school as a base to receive and display the phenomenal number of cards.
“Captain Tom’s story has inspired a generation with one of the school’s boys, aged 10, penning a wonderful poem saluting his fundraising efforts.”