James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
WW2 veteran Captain Tom Moore smashes £20 million milestone
17 April 2020, 22:10
World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore has now raised more than £20 million for the NHS in less than two weeks.
The "heroic" 99-year-old has been raising money for the service as it battles coronavirus by walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden prior to his 100th birthday on 30 April.
Captain Moore began the challenge on 6 April initially hoping to raise just £1,000 for NHS Charities Together - a target that he has now smashed more than 20,000 times over.
He completed his 100th lap on Thursday, with a special guard of honour by the 1st battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, despite breaking his hip just 18 months ago.
However, the veteran has said he will not stop so long as donations continue to pour in.
The total now stands at more than £20.2 million from almost one million supporters (over 990,000).
His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore explained that he will not stop, despite smashing every target so far: "He has said emphatically, as long as people keep donating he will keep walking."
Captain Moore's feat has captured the hearts of the nation, with both the Duke of Cambridge and the Prime Minister commending the hero, among many others.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock congratulated him on Twitter, saying it was "such an incredible achievement for our national effort."
LBC's Andrew Pierce called him "the man of the year" and wrote on Twitter, "Arise Sir Tom."
Prince William wrote to the veteran, made an undisclosed donation to the fundraiser, and sent him a pre-recorded message, while Boris Johnson said he is looking at ways to recognise his "heroic efforts."
The duke praised the veteran's achievement as "incredible" and "amazing".
Well done @CaptainTomMoore for reaching £20 million - such an incredible achievement for our national effort— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) April 17, 2020
In the video, William said: "What I love also is that he's a 99-year-old war vet, he's been around a long time, knows everything and it's wonderful that everyone has been inspired by his story and his determination.
"I think he's a one-man fundraising machine.
"God knows what the final total will be but good on him, I hope he keeps going."
Captain Moore responded, saying: "That I think is absolutely amazing. That my super prince can say something like that."
The 99-year-old spoke with the BBC on Friday morning, saying: "It really is absolutely enormous isn't it. That sum of money is very difficult to imagine but it's coming in so well."
Congratulations to @CaptainTomMoore, who has completed a fundraising walk to raise more than £12m for NHS charities!— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 16, 2020
Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment surprised Tom with a Guard of Honour at a safe distance as he completed his final lap.#InThisTogether pic.twitter.com/Yqw8K8AQqs
Ms Ingram-Moore added: "Tom is clear that as long as people believe that he's worth investing in, he will keep walking because this is for such a phenomenal cause.
"We know that this story will have a life to it, so as long as people are donating we'll keep supporting my father to do it and he will keep walking."
The veteran also addressed the public to offer them his gratitude: "I say thank you very much indeed because the object that we're contributing is so important and so necessary, and I appreciate and think you're all so kind and thoughtful in contributing to this cause."
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.
Donations to NHS Charities Together can still be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs.