Capt. Sir Tom Moore, who raised millions for charity, honoured with WWII plane flypast at funeral
Centenarian war veteran inspired Britons and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth
Church bells rang out and a Second World War-era plane flew Saturday over the funeral service of Capt. Sir Tom Moore to honour the veteran who single-handedly raised millions of dollars for Britain's health workers by walking laps in his backyard.
Soldiers performed ceremonial duties at the service for the 100-year-old Moore, whose charity walk inspired the nation and raised almost 33 million pounds (more than $58 million Cdn). Captain Tom, as he became known, died Feb. 2 in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.
The private service was small, attended by just eight members of the veteran's immediate family. But soldiers carried his coffin, draped in the Union Jack, from the hearse to a crematorium and formed a ceremonial guard. Others performed a gun salute, before a C-47 Dakota military transport aircraft flew past.
"Daddy, you always told us, `Best foot forward,' and true to your word, that's what you did last year," Moore's daughter, Lucy Teixeira, said at the service. "I know you will be watching us chuckling, saying, `Don't be too sad as something has to get you in the end."'
His other daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said the world was "enthralled" by her father's "spirt of hope, positivity and resilience."
"They, too, saw your belief in kindness and the fundamental goodness of the human spirit," she said.
A version of the song Smile, recorded for the funeral by Canadian singer Michael Bublé, was played, as well as My Way by Frank Sinatra, as requested by Moore. A bugler sounded The Last Post to close the service.
A church in Bedfordshire, where the family is based, rang its bell 100 times in Moore's honour.
Moore, who served in India, Burma and Sumatra during the Second World War, set out to raise a modest 1,000 pounds — close to $1,800 Cdn — for Britain's National Health Service by walking 100 laps of his backyard by his 100th birthday last year. But donations poured in from across Britain and beyond as his quest went viral, catching the imagination of millions stuck at home during the first wave of the pandemic.
His positive attitude — "Please remember, tomorrow will be a good day" became his trademark phrase — inspired the nation at a time of crisis. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Moore as a "hero in the truest sense of the word."
Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in July in a physically distanced ceremony at Windsor Castle, west of London.
WATCH | Capt. Tom Moore knighted by the Queen in July 2020 ceremony: