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Celebrate a national treasure

Celebrate a national treasure


Captain, now Colonel, Thomas Moore, is proof that one person really can make a difference

By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer

The former British Army Officer has captured the nation’s hearts during these uncertain and challenging times. The 100-year-old, who celebrated his centenary on 30 April, has raised more than £30 million for NHS Charities Together – and we’ve been rooting for him every step of the way. His mottos, “Tomorrow will be a good day” and “Together we will beat this enemy,” have been the inspiring words we’ve needed to hear for us to get through, together.


Find out more about his miraculous life in the one-off documentary Captain Tom’s War on the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called newly-promoted Colonel Tom a “point of light in all our lives” and he’s right – he’s become a beacon of hope and positivity. This is how he became our new national treasure when we needed one most.

Captain Tom Moore

National treasure: Colonel Thomas Moore

Humble beginnings

On Good Friday, Colonel Tom decided to walk 100 laps of his garden, with the help of his walking frame, before his 100th birthday to raise money for the NHS. On his JustGiving page, the target amount was set to £1,000, which was raised within 24 hours. Within days, that number rose to £100,000, then £250,000, then £1 million… and it climbed and climbed!


At the time of writing, Colonel Tom has raised more than £31 million, smashing his original target by 6239%! He also decided to extend his 100 laps to 200 laps after completing the 100 laps two weeks ahead of time.


A very merry birthday

On 30 April, an RAF (Royal Air Force) flypast took place to celebrate Colonel Tom’s 100th birthday. A Hurricane (one of only 12 still in operation in the world) and a Spitfire flew from RAF Coningsby to Colonel Tom’s house in Bedfordshire and completed three loops.


100th birthday cards for Captain Tom Moore

A total of 140 members of Bedford School’s staff, past and present pupils and their parents spent 1,750 hours opening the birthday cards.

Around 140,000 birthday cards (and counting!) have been sent to Bedford School, near the veteran’s home. He even received a personalised card from the Queen. An estimated £60,000 was sent within the cards, with the money going towards supporting the NHS.


A postmark and a promotion

Captain Tom Moore postmark

“You’ve got mail!”

On his 100th birthday, the Queen promoted Tom from captain to honorary colonel. Royal Mail also stamped all letters with a very special postmark in the week of Colonel Tom’s birthday with: “Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020.”


His cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” with Michael Ball and The NHS Voices of Care Choir, went straight to number one. It sold 82,000 copies, with proceeds going to NHS Charities Together. The achievement made Colonel Tom the first-ever centenarian to top the charts.

The documentary

Captain Tom’s War sheds light on Colonel Tom’s time serving during the Second World War in the Burma campaign. It has largely been thought of as “The Forgotten War,” because most of the focus was on the European battlefront. The 30-minute documentary hopes to rectify this, as Colonel Tom recounts his memories of the conflict. His daughters Lucy and Hannah join him to look through family photos from their trip to Burma.


A young Captain Tom Moore

Colonel Tom, seen here as a young soldier, has been appointed Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College, Harrogate.

Colonel Tom entered officer training in 1940, when he was 20, and served in India before reaching Burma, which is now known as Myanmar. A million Allied troops from 40 nations fought against the Japanese in the campaign, which lasted from 1941 to 1944. 


The Yorkshireman was involved in the massive amphibious assault on Arakan, which was instrumental in recapturing Burma, before continuing with his fellow troops to the capital, Rangoon.


Need more of the feel-good factor?

Check out these uplifting and inspirational documentaries.

Innsæi: The Power Of Intuition

Find it in Apps & Games > Prime Video

“Innsæi” is an ancient Icelandic word meaning “intuition,” but it can also mean “the sea within,” “to see within” and “to see from the inside out.” Renowned thinkers, spiritualists and scientists discuss the concept and how we can connect in a world where people are riddled with distractions and stresses.

I Am

Find it in Apps & Games > Prime Video

You’ll know Tom Shadyac as the funny man behind Ace Ventura: Pet Dective and Liar Liar, but you might not know that he was in a bicycle accident. Following on from this, he decided to make a film about how people can improve their lives, asking the question: “What is wrong with the world, and what can we do about it?”


Find it in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

How can these furry creatures not put a smile on your face? This new series provides a different look at monkeys, apes and lemurs and all the mischief they get themselves into.

Inside The Factory

Find it in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

This is the ultimate pick-me-up. The series, hosted by Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey, takes you inside some of Britain’s biggest factories to find out how they make… well, pretty much everything! From liqueurs and soup, to pots and pans and pasties, get ready to be engrossed.

Tales By Light

Find seasons 1-3 on Netflix

This stunning series turns the lens on Australian and North American photographers, who travel the world to capture the “perfect shot.” How can they ensure success? Cinematographer Abraham Joffe said, “Give yourself the best possible chances… then hope for that luck factor – the chance that you’ll encounter something spectacular.”

Pick Of The Litter

Find it on Netflix

As far as we’re concerned, we don’t want a pick of the litter, we want the whole litter! Five Labrador pups go through 20 months of training before they become guide dogs for people with visual impairments. Cuteness overload!

The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman

Find seasons 1-3 on Netflix

It’s hard not to feel relaxed with Morgan Freeman’s voice as your guide. He hosts and narrates each episode, covering topics related to religion and travelling to dozens of cities to visit religious sites. Whatever your beliefs, this will make you stop and think.

Footprints: The Path Of Your Life

Find it on Netflix

Ten men embark on a pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile, 40-day trek in Northern Spain. It’s an incredibly difficult journey to make, but the most rewarding things never come easily.

When is ITV’s Captain Tom’s War on TV?

Captain Tom’s War airs on ITV on Friday 8 May at 8pm. It is also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub.

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