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

Captain Tom Moore watches RAF Spitfire and Hurricane flypast to mark 100th birthday

‘Today they’re flying peacefully,’ Second World War veteran says

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 30 April 2020 11:00
comments

Captain Tom Moore has celebrated his 100th birthday by watching a RAF flypast in his honour.

The Second World War veteran – who has raised millions for the NHS during the coronavirus crisis – was seen punching the air as a Spitfire and a Hurricane flew over his home in Bedfordshire in a broadcast of the ceremony on BBC Breakfast.

The fundraising page for Captain Moore, who set a goal to walk 100 hundred laps of his garden before his milestone birthday, topped £30m in donations on Thursday.

Speaking about the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast in his honour, Captain Tom said: “I’m one of the few people here who’ve seen Hurricanes and Spitfires flying past in anger.

“Fortunately today they’re all flying peacefully.’’

The ministry of defence said: ”The Armed Forces are proud to pay tribute to one of their own for his incredible generosity and determination in support of the NHS.”

The veteran – whose fundraising efforts for the NHS have captured the heart of the nation – also received a birthday message from the prime minister on national TV, as well as being appointed an honorary colonel at the Army Foundation College.

Captain Moore has been overwhelmed with birthday messages, including more than 140,000 cards which are being opened at a special sorting office set up at his grandson's school.

"Reaching 100 is quite something. Reaching 100 with such interest in me and huge generosity from the public is very overwhelming," he said.

"People keep saying what I have done is remarkable, however it's actually what you have done for me which is remarkable.

"I felt a little frustrated and disappointed after I broke my hip and it knocked my confidence. However, the past three weeks have put a spring back in my step."

Loading....

He said he was “absolutely delighted” with all the birthday wishes he has received.

“It really is absolutely awesome the amount of people who’ve been so kind to make those remarks. Thank you all very much.”

The veteran initially hoped to raise £1,000 for the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak by doing laps of his garden.

He said donations to the fundraising page would close on Thursday evening, but urged people to keep donating directly to NHS Charities.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments