99-year-old veteran becomes UK’s new hero

Correspondent in London

Tom Moore lied to Marcel Pagnol, who believed that “The first quality of a hero is to be dead and buried”. At 99 years old, the man is alive and well and remains turned towards others. And in a few hours, this veteran has become the new heroic figure of a kingdom fighting against the sneaky invasion of the coronavirus.

See also – 99-year-old British veteran raises over a million pounds against coronavirus

In front of the spectacle of these medical personnel going up to the front every day, more or less well equipped, the veteran did not want to remain the weapon with the foot. And all the more so since he dedicates keen appreciation to the “magnificent” medical profession for having treated him for cancer and a broken hip. A few days before his hundredth birthday, Captain Moore therefore undertook to take up a challenge in order to raise funds for the NHS (public health service). Using his walker, he went around the garden of his home in Marston Moretaine, in Bedfordshire 100 times, a distance of 25 meters each time. ” I feel good, he said to his entourage upon arrival, I hope you all feel good too. “

Tom Moore, 99, helped himself with his walker, but succeeded in his challenge. Peter Cziborra / Reuters

With touching modesty, the veteran set himself the goal of lifting 1000 pounds. Its “target” has been totally exceeded. By Thursday morning, the amount had reached £ 12 million (€ 13.7 million), with donations from more than 640,000 people. “It’s an absolutely fantastic sum, marveled Tom Moore, I never could have dreamed of being involved in such an event “. Saying she was stunned by what her father had accomplished, her daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said that this gesture was a “Beacon of hope in these dark times”.

“Extraordinary”

The old man’s achievement and generosity aroused enthusiasm, both in politics and public opinion, and made headlines in the press. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, rising British political star, said his move was “Extraordinary” and “Showed that the British spirit was stronger than ever”. Health Minister Matt Hancock opened the daily press conference paying tribute to him, saying that the veteran was a “Source of inspiration for all of us”. Former F1 champion Damon Hill congratulated him “For a great idea and for having succeeded”. NHS caregivers posed with placards warmly thanking this benefactor. Voices were raised for the veteran to be ennobled and a petition to this effect was launched on the Internet.

Elegantly dressed in a blazer and a club tie, wearing his decorations on his chest, Tom Moore finished his walk, greeted by an honor guard of the soldiers of the Yorkshire Regiment, heir to his former unit. During the Second World War, the young man who had studied engineering indeed served in India and Burma within the Duke of Wellington’s regiment. It was an infantry unit converted to be fitted with “Churchill” tanks within the Royal Armored Corps(RAC). Affected in India, he then fought in Arakan, in western Burma, before joining Sumatra after the Japanese capitulation.

Tom Moore today; Captain Moore during the Second World War. Screen capture from The Times website.

The colonel commanding the Yorkshire Regiment, Andrew Jackson, described Captain Moore as “Absolute legend”, issue “Of an exceptional generation that is still a source of inspiration for our Yorkshire soldiers today”. The old captain said he was proud and happy to be surrounded by “Good people”. And at “All those who are suffering right now He wanted to deliver a message full of life force: “The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will disappear”.

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