Tom Moore died a few weeks ago at the age of one hundred – before that he had collected record donations as “Captain Tom”. And now the British have said goodbye to their pandemic hero in an emotional ceremony.
Because of the measures taken to contain the corona virus, only eight family members were present at the memorial service with military honors in Bedford, East England. The BBC broadcast the event live on television. Thousands of people also expressed their condolences in an online book of condolences.
The World War II veteran who died after a coronavirus infection had collected the equivalent of almost 37 million euros in donations for the NHS health service, which had come under pressure in the corona crisis. He had walked a hundred laps through his back yard with his rollator. Almost overnight he became a national hero. Queen Elizabeth II (94) knighted him last summer.
At the funeral service on Saturday, the coffin, wrapped in a Union Jack flag, was carried by six soldiers into the funeral hall of the crematorium in Bedford. At the same time, gun salutes were fired. A WWII military aircraft thundered over the grounds.
At the beginning of the non-religious funeral service, “Captain Tom’s” version of the soccer anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was played, with which he stormed the charts last year – just one of the late hero’s many triumphs. He had recorded the song with the British singer and actor Michael Ball and an NHS choir.
Several family members paid tribute to Moore as a caring and exemplary father and grandfather. His daughter Lucy Teixeira said that he always encouraged his relatives to do their best. “This is what you did last year when you raised a fortune for the NHS by walking into the hearts of the nation.”
Teixeira had previously told the British PA news agency: “My sister and I have planned the funeral my father wanted.” Her father made it very clear how he envisioned his funeral. But she was unable to fulfill one wish: “If it could have been put in a cardboard box instead of a tree being felled, it would have done that,” says Teixeira. But it is planned that several trees will be planted in his honor, she said.
At the end of the ceremony, a trumpeter said goodbye to Moore with the military signal “Last Post”. His ashes are said to be buried in a family grave in the northeastern English county of Yorkshire.