'I will remain at your service': Captain Tom Moore ‘overawed’ by news he will be knighted

Captain Sir Tom Moore said he was “overawed” to learn that he will be knighted after raising almost £33 million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden.

The Second World War veteran set out to raise £1,000 by walking 100 laps before his 100th birthday on April 30.

He completed the laps ahead of time and his determination captured the public imagination.

Almost £33 million had been donated to his JustGiving page before it closed on the evening of his birthday.

With Gift Aid, the total stands at almost £40 million.

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Sir Tom said he is "absolutely overwhelmed" in a statement posted on Twitter, adding he will "remain at your service".

"This started as something small and I’ve been overwhelmed by the gratitude and love from the British public and beyond," he continued.

"We must take this opportunity to recognise our frontline heroes of the National Health Service who put their lives at risk every day to keep us safe."

Sir Tom said he is "still Tom Moore" even though "Sir Thomas" sounds great.

He added: "I think the thing that really was outstanding was that when we started looking for £1,000... then it got to be £1,000 more than that, it got to be £100,000.

"And it got to £1,000,000 and it went up, and up, and up - that was simply... it was unbelievable.

"That sort of money, it was an awful lot of money that came in for such a good cause, that really was outstanding.

"The sum of money got bigger, and bigger, and bigger and I was overwhelmed that that sum of money had come by me doing a little walk up and down this path."

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sir Tom “provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus”.

He recommended that Sir Tom be exceptionally honoured by the Queen, who has approved the honour, Downing Street said.

An investiture ceremony will take place at a later date, and his official title will be Captain Sir Thomas Moore.

Captain Tom Moore is to be knighted. Credit: PA

Sir Tom said he walked the laps of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire “with pleasure and without any hardship because as it got on and on the funds got better and better and it just went on and on”.

He added: “It was absolutely totally amazing because not only was it in this country but it seemed to go throughout the world.

“It seemed to have raised the spirits of so many different countries, which was absolutely amazing and to me it was delightful.”

The veteran’s charity walk captured the public’s imagination. Credit: PA

Addressing the public, he said: “Thank you very much to all of you.

“You have been so generous and the cause has been such a good one.

“I really do thank you from the bottom of my heart because you have been absolutely outstanding.

“Never ever did I anticipate that I should get such kindness from so many people and thank you all very much.”

The charity fundraiser at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. Credit: PA

His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said: “We are in a wonderful golden bubble of joy just now, we really are.”

Sir Tom recorded a charity single with Michael Ball, with their cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone reaching number one.

Ball said he “couldn’t be more thrilled” that Sir Tom will be knighted.

Sir Tom, who is a fan of both Formula One and cricket, received well-wishes from Lewis Hamilton who said the knighthood was “so well deserved”.

Sir Andrew Strauss said Sir Tom had had an “incredible impact on this country over the last few weeks”.