Captain Sir Tom Moore: National clap announced by PM for fundraiser

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Capt Sir Tom won the nation's hearts with his fundraising walk which took in 100 laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine near Bedford

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has encouraged members of the public to clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore at 18:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The 100-year-old, who raised almost £33m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden, died with coronavirus in Bedford Hospital on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson said the clap would also be for "all those health workers for whom he raised money".

Capt Sir Tom's family said they were "incredibly touched".

In a statement on Twitter, they said they would be "taking part with huge love in their hearts for their father, grandfather and father-in-law".

Media caption,
A look back at Captain Sir Tom Moore's life

Dozens of tributes have been left outside his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

Meanwhile at least 10 petitions calling for a state funeral for the late Army veteran, have been started on the website

The only non-Royal to be paid such an accolade in recent times was former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, though ceremonial funerals, which observe many of the same traditions were held for Diana, Princess of Wales and Margaret Thatcher.

Other petitions have called for a statue, a minute's silence, a burial in Westminster Abbey and a 21 gun salute or flypast.

Image source, Reuters
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People view a mural of late record-breaking centenarian Capt Sir Tom Moore, in Two Gates, Tamworth, Staffordshire
Image source, Reuters
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A man leaves flowers outside the residence of the late Capt Sir Tom Moore, in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire
Image source, Reuters
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People look at flowers left near Capt Sir Tom Moore's home, following his death
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A union jack flies at half mast from the top of Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster

The Army veteran won the nation's hearts by walking 100 laps of his garden last spring during the first coronavirus lockdown, raising money for NHS Charities Together.

Capt Sir Tom tested positive for Covid-19 last week. His family said due to other medication he was receiving for pneumonia, he was unable to be vaccinated.

He had initially set out to raise £1,000, but he eventually raised £32,794,701 from more than 1.5 million supporters and was knighted by the Queen in July.

The charity said the total would rise to £39m when Gift Aid was taken into account.

A weekly applause for front-line NHS staff and other key workers ran for 10 weeks during the UK's first lockdown.

Before Prime Minister's Questions earlier, the House of Commons held a one-minute silence in memory of Capt Sir Tom and those who have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic.

In the government's afternoon press conference, Mr Johnson said: "Tonight let's clap together for Captain Tom at 18:00 and let's clap for the spirit of optimism that he stood for.

"But let's also clap for all those he campaigned for - our brilliant NHS staff and care workers - and let's do everything we can to carry on supporting them.​ "Because if we stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives then, in the words of Captain Tom, tomorrow will be a good day."

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Image source, UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor
Image caption,
The House of Commons held a one-minute silence on Wednesday in memory of Capt Sir Tom and those who have died during the pandemic

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer added Capt Sir Tom "embodied the spirit of Britain" and welcomed the announcement.

A silence was also held in the House of Lords. Leading the tribute, the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler said: "His quiet resolve and selfless spirit of public service will never be forgotten.

"As we pause to remember him and his enduring legacy, we also remember all those who have died since the start of the pandemic."

The family of Capt Sir Tom, originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, said the last year of his life was "nothing short of remarkable".

They added that he had "experienced things he'd only ever dreamed of".

A BBC News special, Captain Tom: We Salute You, presented by Michael Ball, is being broadcast on Wednesday at 19:30 GMT on BBC One and will be available on the BBC iPlayer.

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