While most of us celebrate our birthdays with cake and a glass of fizz, today the nation’s new hero, Captain Tom Moore, rang in his hundredth birthday by raising more than £31 million for the NHS.
Earlier this month, the war veteran from Keighley, West Yorkshire, started a campaign to raise money for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 lengths of his back garden before his milestone birthday. Capt Tom said he only expected to raise £1,000, but by the time he had completed the final lap on April 16, to a guard of honour from the 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, he had raised close to £13 million. As of today, his birthday, the fundraising total is now at a whopping £31 million – and rising.
The UK has shown its admiration for Capt Tom by sending him more than 140,000 birthday cards, which are being sorted at Bedford School, where his grandson is a pupil.
Among the hordes of birthday greetings was a personalised card from the Queen and special message from the Prime Minister who said Moore’s ‘heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation’.
Capt Tom also received some pretty impressive birthday presents, including a promotion to honorary colonel presented to him at his home by Lt Col Thomas Miller, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, and a flypast over his house by a spitfire and a hurricane from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Despite all the fuss, Capt Tom said he would be spending the day isolating with his family at home. Happy birthday, Captain Tom!
In other good news, Seedlings for Solace is selling plants to raise funds for a domestic abuse charity.