In Depth

Why everyone’s talking about Tom Moore

The 99-year-old Second World War veteran who has raised over £5m for NHS workers with sponsored walk

A 99-year-old World War Two veteran has raised more than £5m to help the NHS in the fight against coronavirus by doing a sponsored walk in his back garden.

Tom Moore, originally from Keighley in North Yorkshire, aimed to complete 100 laps of his 25-metre Bedfordshire garden by his 100th birthday, the BBC reports, with the initial goal of raising £1,000 for the NHS.

The nonagenarian, who uses a walking frame, said he began raising funds to thank the “magnificent” NHS staff who treated him for cancer and a broken hip.

However, after launching his campaign on 8 April and raising £70,000 in just 24 hours, he extended his fundraiser and hit £1m on Tuesday morning. By 3.30pm he reached £2m, and passed £3m early in the evening.

As of Wednesday, Moore has passed the £5.5m mark – more than 1,100% of his original goal – with donations flooding in from all over the world.

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He told The Guardian this week: “I think that’s absolutely enormous. At no time when we started off with this exercise did we anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money.

“It just shows that people have such high regard for matters of our National Health Service and it’s really amazing that people have paid so much money. It’s almost unbelievable, isn’t it?”

He later added on Twitter: “When I started this journey last Monday, my target was £1,000 for our incredible NHS. No words left... just thank you.

“Thanks each and every one of you – we are in awe of you, but especially our frontline staff who need this now more than ever.”

As his fundraising campaign has been so successful, Moore has said he will not stop and hopes to do another 100 laps of his garden.

NHS Charities Together, which will benefit from the funds, told the BBC it was “truly inspired and humbled” by Moore’s efforts and the donations. The organisation’s chief Ellie Orton said: “I think I absolutely join the rest of the country in being truly inspired and profoundly humbled by Captain Tom and what he has achieved.”

Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma, Sky News says.

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