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Inspiring: 99-year-old British war veteran praised as ‘beacon of hope’, raised £15m for health service staff

A 99-year-old war veteran has raised a staggering £15m for the national hospital service (NHS) staff in the UK in view of the COVID-19 crisis. He initially hoped to reach £1,000 after completing 100 laps of his garden with his metal framed ‘walker’.

Capt Tom Moore had hoped to achieve the target in time for his 100th birthday on 30 April, and walked the last 25 lengths on live TV on Thursday morning, with a guard of honour from the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment by his side.

“I’m surrounded by the right sort of people so I’m feeling fine,” Moore said as he completed his laps to a round of applause.

“It was just so emotional,” said his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore. “I mean, how special for his own regiment to be there as a guard of honour. We were just thrilled and incredibly proud.”

She said her father was now “absolutely galvanised” and had vowed to keep on walking for as long as the donations keep flowing in.

When Moore started his fundraising on 8 April, he hoped to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together, but after raising £70,000 in 24 hours he extended his target to £1m.

Following a number of TV appearances from his home in Bedfordshire, where he lives with his daughter and grandchildren Benjamin and Georgia, he hit £1m on Tuesday morning, and the total rose to £4m by that night. It now stands at more than  £15m.

JustGiving said Moore had broken the platform’s record for the largest total ever raised through a single campaign, while announcing that its parent company, Blackbaud, was donating £100,000 to the cause.

Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Moore trained as a civil engineer before serving in the second world war, rising to captain and completing postings in India and Burma.

“Our brave nurses and doctors are frontline in this case … this time our army are in doctors’ and nurses’ uniforms and they’re doing a marvellous job,” Moore said earlier this week.

Moore has received multiple messages of thanks from NHS workers, sports personalities and politicians, and there are now calls for Moore to be recognised with an official honour from the Queen.

Full report and a video on The Guardian website here

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