Flags are flown at half mast across Britain ahead of funeral for Sir Captain Tom Moore as nation prepares to say goodbye to NHS fundraising hero

Flags across the country were flown at half mast this morning as the nations prepares to say goodbye to NHS fundraising hero Sir Captain Tom Moore. 

The NHS fundraising hero’s funeral will take place just after 11am this morning and he will be buried in the family plot in his hometown of Keighley, West Yorkshire. 

War hero Captain Tom inspired countless people across the globe by valiantly raising more than £32million for the NHS at the height of the pandemic last year. 

During the Second World War, he served with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment which later merged with two others from Yorkshire. It became known as the Yorkshire Regiment, which Captain Tom was made an Honorary Colonel of last August.

Six soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment will carry his coffin into the crematorium today for a service he planned himself.

The pallbearers will be led by Regimental Sgt Maj Jamie Pearson, who was in charge of the guard of honour on Captain Tom’s 100th birthday — the day he finished his walk which raised £32 million for NHS charities.

Meanwhile, hundreds of bellringers across the UK will remember Captain Tom at 12 noon by tolling a single bell 100 times.

Captain Tom’s daughter Lucy Teixeira said her father’s funeral will be ‘quite spectacular’. 

Captain Tom at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden in April last year


A firing party of 14 will each fire three rounds in unison during the funeral, and a bugler will sound The Last Post at the end of the private service. 

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “It is an honour to be asked to undertake such a prominent role.”

Amid the pandemic only eight family members will attend and police have urged the public to stay away from the area. 

A flypast will be shown on BBC and Sky TV. 

Captain Tom died on February 2 at Bedford Hospital after contracting pneumonia and coronavirus. 

His funeral will be attended by eight members of his immediate family – his two daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Ms Teixeira, four grandchildren and his sons-in-law.

His daughter Ms Teixeira, 52, said the service will be ‘quite spectacular’, adding: ‘There’s just going to be the eight of us under full Covid restrictions, we will honour him the best way we possibly can.’

There are plans to plant trees around the world in his honour, with Ms Teixeira hoping that the Trees for Tom initiative will result in a wood in his home county of Yorkshire and the reforestation of part of India, where he served during the Second World War.

‘My sister and I have been creating the funeral that my father wanted,’ she said.

What Captain Tom wrote about his own funeral in a book

Captain Sir Tom Moore wrote the following passage in a book he chose to call Captain Tom’s Life Lessons in the final few months of his life:

‘Previously, my funeral would have made one little line in the local newspaper and been attended by only a handful of people, but I expect there’ll be a few more now.

‘Someone will have to make extra cake and sandwiches, and it won’t be me.

‘I want the service to end with My Way by Frank Sinatra, because I always did things my way and especially like the line about having too few regrets to mention.

‘It’s odd and rather touching to think that people might weep over my passing – strangers I’ve never even met.

‘If I can, I’d like to watch my own funeral from a distance.

‘That would be quite the joke as I looked down and chuckled at everyone making a lot of fuss over me.

‘Even though I have a space reserved in the village churchyard, I want to be cremated and my ashes taken back to Yorkshire to be with my parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.

‘I wouldn’t mind having a little white headstone somewhere to mark my existence, a bit like the ones they have in military cemeteries.

‘Nothing too fancy.

‘When I was younger I enjoyed listening to The Goon Show on the wireless, and one of the comedians who always made me laugh the hardest was Spike Milligan.

‘Like me, he fought in the Second World War, but was wounded in Italy.

‘When he died at the age of 83, he wrote his own epitaph, which was engraved in Gaelic on his headstone.

‘It reads: ‘I told you I was ill’.

‘This always made me laugh, so I think I’d ask for the simple inscription of my name, the dates of my earthly span, and the words: ‘I told you I was old’.’

‘He was very clear in his wishes and if he could have been put into a cardboard box, he would have done that, rather than chop down a tree.’

She said she had received many messages from well-wishers, and that it was ‘wonderful’ to see people writing in an online book of condolence.

His family revealed Captain Tom had written about his funeral in a book before his death, saying he wanted it to end with Frank Sinatra’s My Way ‘because I always did things my way and especially like the line about having too few regrets to mention’. 

The family has urged people to support the NHS by staying at home.

Once Covid-19 restrictions permit, they will inter Captain Tom’s ashes in Yorkshire, with his parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.  

Earlier this week, Ms Ingram-Moore said her father Captain Tom had set out his requests in a ‘lovely’ and ‘open’ conversation prior to his death. 

She said the national treasure had wanted Victoria sponge cakes and sandwiches at his wake and had asked for his ashes to be taken to the family grave in his beloved Yorkshire. 

Speaking in a heartwarming interview with Good Morning Britain, Ms Ingram-Moore said: ‘Of course, he was older so the concept of talking about death was a real one.

‘But we had a lovely conversation in his kitchen and I said to him the thought of a very quiet funeral might not cut it and that people might be quite interested, and he said in his Yorkshire accent “Do you think so?”.

‘And so I asked him what he wanted and his wishes were really clear, he said he would like to be cremated and his ashes taken to the family grave in Yorkshire.

‘He was very descriptive about the songs he wanted to be played and he wanted us to eat Victoria sponge cakes and sandwiches after, and was so glad he didn’t have to make them.’

Ms Ingram-Moore also revealed her father had asked to have ‘I told you I was old’ engraved on his headstone in tribute to a joke by his favourite comic growing up.

The witty line is inspired by comedian Spike Milligan’s famous epitaph ‘I told you I was ill’, which he said had ‘always made me laugh’. 

‘Like me, he fought in the Second World War, but was wounded in Italy. When he died at the age of 83, he wrote his own epitaph, which was engraved in Gaelic on his headstone. It reads: “I told you I was ill”.

‘This always made me laugh, so I think I’d ask for the simple inscription of my name, the dates of my earthly span, and the words: “I told you I was old”.’ 

Captain Tom’s family have said his funeral would be a ‘small’ private service as they urged the public to stay at home.  

In his not-yet-published book, Captain Tom added that it was ‘odd and rather touching to think that people might weep over my passing – strangers I’ve never even met’ and that he would want to look down and ‘chuckle at everyone making a lot of fuss over me’.

The family said Captain Tom had openly spoken about his funeral over the past year and had wondered if ‘perhaps the interest in him over the last 12 months would mean we would need to have more Victoria sponge cakes available for the extra guests’. 

He captured the hearts of Britain with his fundraising during the first lockdown when he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday.

Captain Tom is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on July 17 last year. He died at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19

His funeral will be attended by eight members of his immediate family – his two daughters Ms Ingram-Moore (right) and Lucy Teixeira (left), four grandchildren and his sons-in-law

Six soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment will carry his coffin into the crematorium on Saturday. Pictured: Captain Tom with members of the Yorkshire Regiment

The family will inter Captain Tom’s ashes in Yorkshire, with his parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot, once this is permitted by eased coronavirus restrictions.

Captain Tom’s family said they understood that so many people wanted to pay their respects, but urged the public to ‘continue to support the NHS by staying at home’.

They added that they had set up an online book of condolence and people could also donate to The Captain Tom Foundation or plant a tree in his memory.

How Sir Captain Tom’s heroic actions boosted Britain amid lockdown 

Sir Captain Tom Moore hoped to raise £1,000 for the NHS, but ended up capturing the hearts of Britain. Here’s how 100 laps around his garden turned into a knighthood:

April 2020 The army veteran begins fundraising in the hope of raising £1,000 for the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic. He wants to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30.  

April 14 More than £2million is donated.

April 15 The total rises to £7million as more than 340,000 people show their support. 

April 16  He completes his 100 laps – meaning he walked an average of six laps a day – and reveals he’s going to keep going to raise as much as possible. Both the Prime Minister and the Royal Family congratulate him. 

April 24  Sir Captain Tom is the oldest person ever to reach Number One in the Top 40 Charts with his cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone. He performs it alongside singer Michael Ball and The NHS Voices of Care Choir.

April 30 The fundraising page hits £32million on his 100th birthday. He is made an honorary colonel and enjoys a military flypast. 

July 17 The Queen awards him a knighthood in a special engagement.

September He writes bestselling autobiography Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day and signs a deal to film a biopic of his life. 

October 5 – Captain Tom starts a podcast to tackle isolation among Britain’s elderly. 

December  He ticks a holiday to Barbados off his bucket list. 

January 31, 2021 He is admitted to hospital amid an intense battle with pneumonia, his family reveal. 

February 2, 2021 Sir Captain Tom’s death is announced days after he tests positive for coronavirus.

Captain Tom’s family said he had also spent ‘many enjoyable hours’ in the final few months of his life writing Captain Tom’s Life Lessons.

He wanted to release this just before his 101st birthday, but his relatives said the final chapter was ‘so poignant and reading it brings us so much comfort and warmth’.

They are therefore sharing the last chapter ‘as a thank you, from our father Tom and us as a family, for the love and kindness the nation and the world have shown him’. 

In the chapter, Captain Tom writes: ‘Previously, my funeral would have made one little line in the local newspaper and been attended by only a handful of people, but I expect there’ll be a few more now.

‘Someone will have to make extra cake and sandwiches, and it won’t be me.

‘I want the service to end with My Way by Frank Sinatra because I always did things my way and especially like the line about having too few regrets to mention. 

‘It’s odd and rather touching to think that people might weep over my passing – strangers I’ve never even met.

‘If I can, I’d like to watch my own funeral from a distance.

‘That would be quite the joke as I looked down and chuckled at everyone making a lot of fuss over me.’

He said he wished to be cremated and for his ashes to be taken to Yorkshire, but would not mind a ‘little white headstone somewhere to mark my existence, a bit like the ones they have in military cemeteries’.

He said for his epitaph he would ask for the ‘simple inscription of my name, the dates of my earthly span, and the words: ‘I told you I was old” – in reference to comedian Spike Milligan’s famous epitaph ‘I told you I was ill’. 

Shortly after his death earlier this month, Ms Teixeira said Captain Tom would have a ‘quiet’ send-off and the family was planning an understated funeral that would be ‘suitable’ for him. 

She said at the time: ‘At the moment, my sister Hannah and I are planning a careful send-off that is suitable to him, quite quiet in a manner that he would say to us ‘well done, girls’.

‘I know that there are things being talked about, but my sister and I are focusing on planning the next stage and celebrating the end of his life.’ 

Last week, Mrs Ingram-Moore revealed the family received a ‘lovely letter from the Queen’ following his death, adding that the monarch felt ‘genuine loss’.

She said the Queen and her father were ‘two similar souls’ and would have probably had ‘a cup of tea and had a good chin wag’ after he was knighted last year, if it wasn’t for the pandemic.

Buckingham Palace paid a personal tribute following his death, with a spokesman saying the Queen’s thoughts were with his family – and the flag at Number 10 was lowered to half-mast.

Captain Tom, from Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, was knighted by the 94-year-old Queen in a unique outdoor ceremony at Windsor Castle on July 17. 

As well as being knighted, Captain Tom was made an honorary colonel and an honorary member of the England cricket team.

Mrs Ingram-Moore also said last week how Captain Tom’s heart would have been ‘broken’ to hear about trolling the family received.

Captain Tom (pictured with his family), who raised more than £32 million for the NHS with his sponsored walk of his garden in the first lockdown, served with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment during the Second World War. Left to right: Benjie Ingram-Moore, Captain Tom, Hannah Ingram-Moore and Georgia Ingram-Moore

Six soldiers from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s Yorkshire Regiment will carry his coffin at his funeral to honour the war hero. Pictured: Captain Tom last year

Speaking about her father’s days in hospital and their final family holiday to the Caribbean, she said she could not tell her father ‘people are hating us’ after his mammoth fundraising efforts.

She told BBC Breakfast: ‘I couldn’t tell him. I think it would have broken his heart, honestly, if we’d said to him people are hating us. 

‘Because how do you rationalise to a 100-year-old man that something so incredibly good can attract such horror?

‘So we contained it within the four of us and we said we wouldn’t play to […] that vile minority, we wouldn’t play to them, we’re not, because we are talking to the massive majority of people who we connect with.’

Mrs Ingram-Moore also said her father had wanted to come home to steak and chips after he was admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

She said: ‘I said to him in the last few days: ‘So, what do you want to eat when you come home?’ And we decided it was steak and chips.

‘He was really excited about coming out for steak and chips and getting his frame back outside and his walker.

‘The last real conversation was positive and about carrying on, and that’s a lovely place to be.’

Mrs Ingram-Moore said that when Captain Tom went into hospital, the family ‘really all believed he’d come back out’. 

‘We thought the oxygen would help, that he would be robust enough, (but) the truth is he just wasn’t. He was old and he just couldn’t fight it,’ she added.

Before he died, the centenarian got to tick a holiday in the Caribbean off his bucket list when the family travelled to Barbados just before Christmas.

‘It was just amazing,’ Mrs Ingram-Moore said. 

‘He sat in 29 degrees outside, he read two novels, he read the newspapers every day, and we sat and we talked as a family, we went to restaurants (because we could there) and he ate fish on the beach and what a wonderful thing to do. I think we were all so pleased we managed to give him that.’

Source: Read Full Article