Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old British veteran who stole headlines with his viral backyard fundraiser for the NHS, is due to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth but is taking it all in stride with some heart-warming humour.
“I hope she’s not very heavy-handed with the sword,” he said Wednesday, in reference to the knighting ceremony in which the monarch taps the recipient’s shoulders with a sword.
“By then I might be rather a poor old weak soul.”
The 100-year-old World War II veteran raised £33mn by walking 100 laps of his garden in Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday on April 30, in what became a record-breaking fundraiser for the NHS Charities Together.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed. Never for one moment could I have imagined being awarded with such a great honour,” Moore said, adding that it was an opportunity to recognise the “frontline heroes of the National Health Service who put their lives at risk every day to keep us safe.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recommended the award and described Moore as a “true national treasure” who “provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus.”
The funds will go towards food parcels and counselling sessions for NHS staff as well as the provision of communication devices like phones and tablets to patients so they can talk to their loved ones.
An online petition calling for him to be knighted received over one million signatures and he became an internet sensation, inspiring many others both at home and abroad.