Captain Tom Moore receives Freedom of the City of London in virtual ceremony

12 May 2020, 15:02

Captain Tom Moore honoured in City of London’s first ‘virtual’ ceremony

By Megan White

Captain Tom Moore said it was a "great honour" to receive the Freedom of the City of London in a virtual ceremony.

The ancient tradition dates back to 1237 and Tuesday's ceremony was the first ever to be conducted by video-link.

Second World War veteran Captain Tom was nominated for the honour after raising almost £33 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30.

He was nominated by William Russell, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation.

Captain Tom sat beside his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore at home in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire for the ceremony, which was streamed on YouTube.

After reading aloud the declaration of a freeman, the war hero was asked to give a "wave of the pen" to symbolically sign the document.

Captain Tom Moore (bottom right) receiving the Freedom of the City of London in a virtual ceremony
Captain Tom Moore (bottom right) receiving the Freedom of the City of London in a virtual ceremony. Picture: PA

Captain Tom, who served with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, was told that previous freemen of the City of London include the Duke of Wellington.

Others honoured with the status include Edward Jenner, the man who discovered the vaccination against smallpox, founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale and Winston Churchill.

The Lord Mayor said: "Not only did Captain Tom raise money in his mission, he also raised the spirits of people across the country.

"He showed us all the importance of community spirit and brought people together during this difficult time.

"Thankfully through the resilience, courage and hope of people like you Captain Tom, I am confident we will conquer this crisis like we have conquered others.

"So congratulations once again and I thoroughly look forward to welcoming you to the Mansion House to receive your freedom in person in the not so distant future."

Captain Tom Moore gives an inspirational message on his 100th birthday

Captain Tom said: "Lord Mayor thank you very much for your very kind remarks. It's an honour to speak to you."

He was applauded as the ceremony concluded, adding: "Thank you all very much.

"It's been a great honour for me, thank you all very, very much, thank you."

Dr Peter Kane, the Chamberlain of London, said Captain Tom had "done something quite extraordinary and by doing so he has stolen the hearts of millions of people in this country".

Captain Tom will be presented with a framed certificate when he visits the City of London in person.