Captain Tom Moore’s legacy will be celebrated with special April 30 event

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Captain Tom Moore’s life will be celebrated with a worldwide event on what would have been his 101st birthday. 

Hannah Ingram-Moore today shared a message of thanks for the ‘continuing support and compassion’ her family has been shown following the death of her father.

Captain Tom, who was laid to rest in a small family funeral service on Saturday, died with coronavirus on February 2 after being admitted to Bedford Hospital days earlier.

Ms Ingram-Moore today revealed that her father’s ‘life and spirit’ will be now commemorated with an event hosted by the Captain Tom Moore Foundation on April 30.

She added that his funeral, which featured a flypast by a Second World War-era plane and a three-round gun salute, would have ‘had him bursting with pride.’

In a Twitter post on Captain Tom’s account, she said: ‘So many of you have asked what will be done to commemorate the life and spirit of my father Captain Tom and we’ve had some amazing suggestions.

‘The Captain Tom Foundation will be celebrating his life on what would have been his 101st birthday.

‘We will make sure it is an event that everyone – in the UK and around the world – can get involved in and it will truly celebrate his generosity of spirit, the hope and joy he brought to millions and his sense of fun.’

War hero Captain Tom inspired countless people across the UK when he valiantly raised more than £32million for the NHS at the height of the pandemic last year by walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden.

Ms Ingram-Moore added: ‘Colin, Benjie, Georgia and I enjoyed the most amazing, multi-generational life journey with my father and could never have predicted how the last year of his life could inspire so many others.

‘The messages you have left in the book of condolence are truly wonderful and it is deeply moving to read how he helped others through this time.

‘I am so glad we got the opportunity to share his message of hope with the world. In the last few months he often spoke of how proud he felt at being able to leave behind the growing legacy of his Foundation.’

Captain Tom’s Union Jack-draped coffin was carried into a crematorium by six soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment ahead of his funeral service on Saturday.

The C-47 Dakota, a Second World War-era plane and part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, performed a fly-pass ahead of a three-round gun salute by a 14-strong firing party before the coffin was carried into the building.

The pallbearers were 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 charity walk.

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

In a Twitter post on Captain Tom’s account, his family said they would be enjoying tea and cake following his funeral: ‘Today we celebrate the life of our hero. We will be following Captain Tom’s wishes by enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of Victoria sponge cake. Please join us as we raise a cup to him.’

Speaking at the service, Ms Teixeira said: ‘We often talked about milestones in your life and laughed about the possibility of you reaching your 100th birthday.

‘You said “it’s just a number, I don’t feel any different” and right to the end you ignored the number and kept on going, urging us all to keep on going with the mantra “tomorrow will be a good day”.

‘You have always influenced me with your strength, your energy, your drive, to get out of bed with a spring in your step and a purpose in mind. I know you will be watching us chuckling, saying “don’t be too sad as something has to get you in the end”.

‘Daddy, I am so proud of you, what you achieved your whole life and especially in the last year, you may be gone, but your message and your spirit lives on.’

Ms Ingram-Moore said in her eulogy: ‘We had the happiness of a stable family life, peppered with the excitement of intrepid camping trips across Europe which gave our young minds a window on the world that you said was our oyster to open.’

She described her father moving in with them after her mother’s death as ‘the most amazing, multi-generational life journey, thriving on the wealth of knowledge and the knowledge we in turn gave to you’.

Ms Ingram-Moore added: ‘Your relationship with (your grandchildren) was a constant remember of how lucky we were to have you as a father and of that special bond we have.’

She continued: ‘We know, because you told everyone who would listen, that you relished this next phase of your life. We respected your values, your independence and your space, and you did the same for us, we felt your love and we know you felt our love for you.’

A number of special items were placed on Captain Tom’s coffin, including a replica of his service cap from the Second World War and a wreath from the Yorkshire Regiment.

Also among the items are his campaign medals, including the Burma Star, and his knighthood medal stitched on to a cushion.

There was also a specially commissioned sword engraved with the motto of the Yorkshire Regiment on one side: ‘Fortune favours the brave’.

Engraved on the other side is his own personal motto: ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’.

Once lockdown restrictions are eased his ashes will be interred in Keighley, Yorkshire, where he will rest with his parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.

Ms Ingram-Moore previously said her father had set out his requests for the funeral 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 an 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”,’ he said.

‘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”.’

Mrs Ingram-Moore also previously revealed the family had 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.

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.’

The war hero’s daughter 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: Daily Mail