The Life and Legacy of Captain Sir Thomas Moore


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A memorial image for Captain Sir Thomas Moore.

Early this month, Captain Sir Thomas Moore, who became known throughout the UK as “Captain Tom” this past year after his fundraising efforts for the NHS gained national attention, passed away at age 100. To honor his memory, and his work that gained him the title “hero” many times over, here is the life and legacy of Captain Tom.

Captain Sir Thomas Moore was from West Yorkshire, England, according to an article by People. At age 20, he was drafted into the British army as World War 2 was beginning, according to an article by Opelika-Auburn News, and in 1940, he was selected for officer training. During the war, he served in India and in the Burma campaign.

An image of young Captain Sir Thomas Moore. (Image courtesy of

“Generally people didn’t talk about it,” Captain Tom regarding the war’s after-effects in an interview with the Guardian, said, “It was something we did and something we got on with and something we came home with. Some people didn’t manage to come home.”

He went on after the war to work as a managing director for a concrete company, according to the Guardian, and he married his first wife, Billy, in 1949. After his first marriage ended in divorce, he thought he would never find anyone else, but he later met his second wife, Pamela, through work according to People, and they had their two daughters, Hannah and Lucy.

Last Spring, when COVID hit, a dare at a family barbeque spiraled into Captain Tom at age 99 deciding to walk a total of 100 laps in his backyard leading up to his 100th birthday as a fundraiser for the UK’s National Health Services (NHS) to help them in their work against COVID. He did it also as a thank you to the NHS for the treatment he received from them previously for cancer and a broken hip according to ABC Net news.

Captain Sir Thomas Moore as he took his 100th lap in his backyard. (Image courtesy of

Captain Tom’s fundraiser had quickly gained national and even international attention. His original goal was to raise 1,000 pounds, but he ended up raising over 30 million, with donations coming from 163 different countries. By his final lap on his 100th birthday, he was surrounded by a Guard of Honour formed by soldiers from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment according to BBC, and was met by a Royal Air Force flyover. That day, he received some 250,000 birthday cards as well as a plethora of gifts.

Captain Sir Thomas Moore being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. (Image courtesy of

“I never, ever anticipated ever in my life anything like this, it really is amazing,” Captain Sir Thomas Moore said.

In the following months, Captain Tom received a Guinness World Records title for most money raised by an individual for a walk, had a foundation created after him, published his own biography, and was even knighted by the Queen.

Sadly, last month, Captain Tom fell ill from COVID and died on Feb. 2. His passing was met by an outpouring of tributes for this hero, including a national clap led by his family and Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 6pm on Feb. 3 according to Evening Standard.

Surely, Captain Sir Thomas Moore will be remembered for years to come for his aid and optimism during his country’s darkest hours, both through World War II and this pandemic.

“To all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment: The sun will shine on you again, and the clouds will go away,” Captain Tom said.

As the world continues to fight through this pandemic, let everyone share the kindness and optimism that made Captain Tom such an inspiration. As his motto goes,

“Tomorrow will be a good day.”

A billboard in London projecting a memorial for Captain Sir Thomas Moore. (Image courtesy of