Captain Tom Moore: Boris Johnson and Duchess of Cornwall lead 100th birthday tributes

‘Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation,’ says prime minister

Olivia Petter
Thursday 30 April 2020 09:23 BST
Boris Johnson wishes Captain Tom Moore a happy birthday

Boris Johnson and the Duchess of Cornwall have led the birthday tributes to Captain Tom Moore, who turns 100 on Thursday 30 April.

The retired army officer, who has raised more than £29m for NHS charities during the coronavirus pandemic, has also just been promoted to the rank of Honorary Colonel for the military’s college for young soldiers.

In light of his fundraising efforts, the Second World War veteran’s centenary will be marked by flypasts of helicopters and the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.

On Thursday morning, the prime minister issued a special birthday message to Captain Moore on BBC Breakfast.

“Captain Tom, I know I speak for the whole country when I say ‘We wish you a very happy 100th birthday’,” Johnson began over video.

“Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation. You’ve created a channel to enable millions to say a heartfelt thank you to the remarkable men and women in our NHS who are doing the most astounding job.”

Johnson went on to reference the long-standing tradition of prime ministers taking a moment each day to thank someone for their services to others.

“By recognising them as a point of light,” he explained. “Captain Tom, that is exactly what you are – a point of light in all our lives.

“So, on behalf of the whole country, thank you, and have a very special 100th birthday.”

Spitfire and Hurricane fly over Captain Tom Moore's home for his 100th birthday

Johnson’s message follows on from the Duchess of Cornwall, who spoke about Captain Moore’s “wonderful” fundraising efforts in a video released by Clarence House. ”That sort of thing makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it?” she added.

Both Camilla and the Prince of Wales have written to Captain Moore to wish him a happy birthday.

NHS England has also issued a special birthday note to Captain Moore.

“Happy Birthday to @captaintommoore — 100 years young today!” the organisation tweeted alongside a photograph of a sketch of the retired army officer.

“Congratulations on your incredible achievements this year, and we hope you have a wonderful day.”

Many other organisations have offered their birthday tributes, including the British Army and the Ministry of Defence.

A number of celebrities have also said happy birthday to Captain Moore, including Davina McCall, who tweeted: “Happy 100th @captaintommoore. You have inspired the world !

“You’ve brought a tear to our eyes , filled our hearts with joy and supported our#nhs in its darkest hour. You have served our country in the most amazing way. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Captain Moore spoke about reaching the milestone on BBC Breakfast. He said: “It hardly feels any different to yesterday. I don’t know what you’re meant to feel like when you get to 100.

”I’ve never been 100 before, so I really can’t tell you what difference there is from yesterday, today or maybe tomorrow.“

He added that he is “absolutely delighted” with all the birthday wishes he has received, adding: “It really is absolutely awesome the amount of people who’ve been so kind to make those remarks. Thank you all very much.”

Captain Moore began his fundraising mission with sponsored walks around his garden at the start of April with the aim of raising £1,000 for NHS Charities Together. Public interest in his effort grew alongside media coverage, and the total hit £30m on Thursday.

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