Colonel Sir Tom Moore, a national hero in England who raised more than £32 million pounds for the National Health Service will receive a knighthood from the Queen at Windsor Castle on Friday.
The Queen will carry out the official engagement in person, despite having been out of the public eye since before the lockdown, using the sword that belonged to her father, George VI. Colonel Sir Tom will be presented with the insignia of Knight Bachelor.
As reported in the British press:
“Colonel Sir Tom Moore won the hearts of the nation after originally setting out to raise £1,000 for health service charities by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden.”
He will be joined for the ceremony with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, son-in-law Colin Ingram, grandson Benji and granddaughter Georgia.
Colonel Sir Tom has publicly expressed his gratitude for the honour:
“It really is a great honour and something I never ever anticipated. If the Queen is so gracious to bestow this honour on me, I’m totally thrilled by it. It never, ever entered my head that something like that could happen to me.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also praised Colonel Tom, describing him as a “national treasure”, saying he had provided a “beacon of light through the Covid-19 crisis.”
Colonel Sir Tom’s fundraising effort has been nothing short of remarkable:
“The Second World War veteran had set out to raise $1,000 by walking 100 laps before his 100th birthday on April 30. He completed his laps ahead of time and his determination captured the public imagination.
Almost £33 million had been donated to his JustGiving page before it closed on the evening of his birthday. With Gift Aid, the total stands at £39 million”.
In a message of hope to the nation, Colonel Tom remarked that things will get better once this coronavirus crisis has passed, ‘as they always do.’
“I think you go back to the song after the storm there will be a golden sky you’ve got to look forwards to the fact that things will improve as they always do.”