The Queen will knight Captain Sir Tom Moore at Windsor Castle today in the only personal investiture performed by the monarch during lockdown after WWII hero raised £33m for the NHS
- The 100-year-old Second World War veteran earned himself a knighthood
- During the pandemic he raised some £33 million for health service charities
- Unprecedented personal ceremony to be staged in Windsor Castle’s quadrangle
The family of fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore have described the Queen’s decision to give him his knighthood in a unique private ceremony as ‘the icing on the cake’ of his achievements.
The 100-year-old Second World War veteran earned himself a knighthood after raising £33 million for health service charities.
Sir Tom won the hearts of the nation and the donations came flooding in after he set out on his challenge to walk 100 lengths of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday earlier this year.
While other investitures due to be held at Buckingham Palace in London and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in June and July were postponed, a special exception has been made for Sir Tom.
The unprecedented personal ceremony will be staged in Windsor Castle’s quadrangle this afternoon.
The 100-year-old Second World War veteran earned himself a knighthood after raising £33 million for health service charities
Cptn Tom Moore, with (left to right) grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia, at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire
A post on Captain Sir Tom Moore’s official Twitter account this morning shared a picture of him wearing his campaign medals ahead of the ceremony.
It read: ‘Good Morning! Ready and raring to go for what is a very special day. Thank you for all the well wishes, as ever, overwhelmed by your support. £todaywillbeagoodday’
His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said the investiture was the ‘icing on the cake’ of her father’s amazing year.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast ahead of the ceremony, she said: ‘We will take a leisurely pace down to Windsor – no rushing today and no falling, no tripping, and we have a fairly regimented day ahead of us.’
She added: ‘Protocol is being written as we speak and we will simply be doing as we are told.’
Sir Tom’s grandson Benjie said: ‘I just want to say thank you to absolutely everybody who has supported us.
‘We would not be in this situation without everyone on the other side of the camera, so, from our family, thank you for putting us in this situation.’
His granddaughter Georgia added: ‘We are so proud of him and I’m so excited for this day.’
Ahead of the ceremony, Sir Tom said on his official Twitter account: ‘It is going to be the most special of days for me.’
His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said the investiture was the ‘icing on the cake’ of her father’s amazing year
The 94-year-old Queen has been staying at Windsor during the coronavirus pandemic for her safety, but will carry out the official engagement in person.
Buckingham Palace believes it is the first time the ‘unique’ format of his ceremony will have taken place, amid the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic and Downing Street’s announcement of Sir Tom’s individual knighthood.
Royal commentator Dickie Arbiter described the Queen’s decision to give Sir Tom his knighthood in an individual ceremony as ‘very significant’.
He added: ‘The Queen has always said she ‘needs to be seen to be believed’ so today she will be seen – the last time we actually saw her physically was in June in the alternative Trooping the Colour at Windsor Castle.
‘To actually see the Queen in person – this is a step in the right direction, a step hopefully back to new normality, but it will be a very slow step.’
The Queen will use the sword that belonged to her father, King George VI, and will present Sir Tom with the insignia of Knight Bachelor.
Buckingham Palace said the investiture will follow strict social distancing rules.
From Yorkshire to India: Colonel Tom Moore’s career in the military
Captain Tom Moore was conscripted into the British Army in June 1940 when he was 20, alongside all men aged 20 to 35.
He began his military career in Otley, West Yorkshire, where he joined the 8th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment under Lieutenant Lord George Saville.
The Regiment was sent to train in Wadebridge, Cornwall where they were tasked with coastal defence amid a predicted German invasion.
A young Captain Moore was soon promoted to Corporal and sent to the officer cadet training unit in Droitwich Spa.
Here, he celebrated his 21st birthday after he passed as a Second Lieutenant.
In August 1941, he was sent to the DWR headquarters in Halifax where he joined the 9th Battalion at Winchcombe.
The infantry battalion then converted to an armoured regiment 146th Royal Armoured Corp, though the majority of the soldiers could not drive.
In October, the unit was posted to Bombay, now Mumbai, in India. The journey took six weeks by sea, with a four-day delay in Freetown, Sierra Leone and a four-day stop in Cape Town.
Captain Moore then took a train from Bombay to Poona, before arriving at Kirkee, a town now known as Khadki.
The 9th DWR formed the 50th Indian Tank Brigade under the command of Brigadier Schreiber.
Captain Moore was then asked by the Brigadier to start a motorcycling course for the Brigade due to his expertise for the sport.
The Brigade was then ordered to move to Calcutta – the road journey was in a monsoon and took three weeks.
His Battalion was stationed in the Lohardaga district near Ranchi.
They then took part in two exercises in the Arakan before moving further east and south to Rangoon.
Captain Moore was then sent on a course at the approved vehicle depot in Bovington, England.
He remained here as an instructor until it was closed.