By: Kiera Kofkin-Hansen
The pandemic has been raging for almost a year now, and many individuals along with countries have started to take their relief even further: vaccination distributions, stricter quarantines, fundraises, and simple “Thank You’s” to the front-line workers. One man spent the last few months of his life dedicating it to the people of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
Captain Sir Thomas Moore passed away on February 2nd of this year (only two months before his 101st birthday!!!) and lived an extraordinary life. Born in 1920, Thomas Moore grew up to serve in the British Army during WWII in India and Myanmar. After the war ended, he served another 15 years in the British Army, earning himself the title of Captain.
Once he retired from the British Army as a heavily decorated soldier, Captain Thomas Moore went into business, heading not one, but two successful businesses in the roofing and concrete industries. He thoroughly enjoyed photography, and was a member of the Keighley and District Photographic Association. On top of running successful businesses and being an avid photographer, Moore also spent much of his life competitively racing motorcycles, purchasing his first bike at just 12 years old.
The most astonishing achievement of Captain Thomas Moore however was the amount of money he raised for the National Health Service (NHS). Moore made a pledge on April 6th 2020 at age 99 that he would walk 100 laps around his backyard before he turned 100, with the hopes of raising £1,000 for the NHS. By the time his campaign ended on his 100th birthday however, Captain Thomas Moore had raised £39 million. So many people from within the UK and around the world were in awe of the dedication this veteran, who had lived for a century, had in order to help the people working hardest during these trying times, that they raised money that surpassed his wildest dreams.
Captain Thomas Moore became a national inspiration: he received awards, honorary songs and bus stops made in his name, and most of all was knighted by the Queen of England herself. Making her first public engagement since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, on July 17th, 2020, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Captain Thomas Moore after he was nominated by the Prime Minister of England for the honor (which is where the “Sir” comes into his name).
Sir Captain Thomas Moore sadly passed away early 2021; however, he will forever be known as an inspiration to the United Kingdom and the world as a whole.