Capt Tom: Sets Fund-Raising Record of $33 Million in Support of UK Hospitals

Credit: Moore family
Credit: Moore family

Capt Tom Moore who is 99-years-old, planned to raise money for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

The intent was to support the government agency as it battles against the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Tom Moore’s plan was to get people to sponsor him as he took laps around the garden in his yard.

The goal was to walk 100 laps around the garden in 10 lap increments with the aid of his walker. He hoped to be able to accomplish this prior to his 100th birthday at the end of April.

But Capt Tom has since changed those plans. He actually was able to raise over 4 million British pounds and blew through the 100 laps so quickly he is planning to continue and walk another 100 laps.

One lap around the garden is 25 meters, or 82 feet.

Mr. Moore began the endeavor as an act of gratitude for the NHS for its help in treating him for cancer and for a broken hip. For their part, the NHS has stated that they are “truly inspired and humbled” by the actions of Mr. Moore.

He hoped to raise 1,000 British pounds for the organization.

Almost 170,000 people around the world donated to Mr. Moore’s fundraising page in the first week it was online.

Mr. Moore said it was “almost unbelievable” when the donations crossed the 1 million British pound threshold. He said that he felt the doctors and nurses deserved every penny of the money and that he hoped to get more for them.

By April 16, his page had raised over 16.5 million British pounds (over $20 million US) from over 800,000 people. According to JustGiving, this is the largest amount ever raised by a single individual. April 21st he is now up to 27 million British pounds ($33 million).

Ellie Orton, the chief executive of NHS Charities Together which will receive the funds, said that Mr. Moore was a role model and an inspiration.

The money will be spent to purchase well-being packs for the NHS staff, rest and recuperation rooms, electronic devices to allow patients to keep in contact with family members and loved ones, and to support groups who work with patients after they have been discharged from the hospital.

Mr. Moore trained as a civil engineer before he enlisted in the army to serve during Second World War. He rose to the rank of captain and served in India and in Burma.

Mr. Moore encouraged everyone to remember that things will eventually get better. The WWII vet reminded everyone that we’ve been through tough times in the past and we’ll overcome the current conditions just the same as we did then.

The NHS is a government-funded agency that supplies medical and health care services to UK citizens so that the patients do not have to pay the full cost of those services and in many cases do not have to pay anything at all. The funding for the agency comes from taxes.


Plans for Mr. Moore’s birthday party on April 30th are among those affected by the ongoing pandemic. He joked that everyone will have to remain 6 meters away from him – “I must be something horrid!”

Cars Line up to Celebrate his 101st Birthday With a Socially Distant Salute

On a more serious note, the fund-raising hero said that the love and support he has received has been enough of a party for him.

When told that he had set the record on the JustGiving site, he said:

“Please remember tomorrow is a good day and we will get through it in the end… I shall continue walking.”

You can help Capt Tom here JustGiving

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE