Captain Sir Tom Moore Knighted in a Private Ceremony by the Queen

 Captain Tom Moore raised over £32 million for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)
Captain Tom Moore raised over £32 million for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)

On Friday, 17th July 2020, Captain Sir Tom Moore received his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.

Captain Sir Tom was accompanied by his family, daughter and son-in-law, Colin and Hannah Ingram, and his two grandchildren Benji and Georgia.

He stood, bathed in brilliant sunshine, before the Queen in the castle’s quadrangle for the ceremony at 3:00pm on Friday afternoon.

The knighthood was bestowed in recognition for his heroic efforts at fundraising for the NHS. He encouraged members of the public from all over the world to support his venture to raise funds for the NHS via a JustGiving Crowd-funding initiative. His efforts, held during the coronavirus lockdown, netted a total of £32.7 million.

The nomination was made by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on the 19th May 2020 and said that Captain Sir Tom was a beacon of light to the country.

The nomination and justification for the knighthood were made outside of the standard timescale for this type of honor. This was also the first official, public appearance made by the Queen. She has been in self-isolation with Prince Philip, since the start of the lockdown at Windsor Castle.

Credit: Family of Sir Tom Moore
Credit: Family of Sir Tom Moore

The Queen arrived in the quadrangle heralded by the Queen’s Piper, Pipe Major Richard Grisdale, of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, after attending the wedding of her granddaughter Princess Beatrice to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, held nearby in the chapel.

The sword she used belonged to her father, King George VI. After the investiture, she was overheard saying to Captain Sir Tom Moore, that he had reached a great age and asked him if he had been self-isolating.

Captain Sir Tom said that he was overwhelmed at the idea of meeting the Queen and that he never imagined that it could happen to him. His wonderful sense of humor peeped through when he said that he might never get back up if he knelt down for the investiture.

Captain Sir Tom Moore. Fair Use.
Captain Sir Tom Moore. Fair Use.

He enjoyed a few minutes of private chat with the Queen after the ceremony but declined to say what she had said to him, declaring that the kind message that he received from her was private, but that it was “truly outstanding.”

Captain Sir Tom Moore has been accredited with providing a much-needed boost to the public’s morale during the coronavirus lockdown. Along with the Queen, he became an instant hero as they provided inspiration and reassurance to the nation.

After the investiture, Boris Johnson tweeted, “Arise Sir Tom! So richly deserved – you have inspired the whole nation with your fantastic fundraising efforts.”

Matt Hancock, the British Health Secretary, said on social media, “Congratulations to Captain Tom Moore on receiving your knighthood. Your efforts throughout coronavirus raised the spirit of our nation [and] we are so grateful for all your fantastic work.”

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In addition to his knighthood, Captain Sir Tom was honored by being made the first-ever Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College. He has also received the Freedom of the City of London. He has been made an honorary member of the English cricket team after hearing that cricket was his favorite sport.

Ian Harvey

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