CAPTAIN Tom Moore’s admirers walk beside his mural in Yorkshire.—Reuters
CAPTAIN Tom Moore’s admirers walk beside his mural in Yorkshire.—Reuters

LONDON: A minute’s silence was held in parliament on Wednesday for Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100-year-old British war veteran who became a national hero for his extraordinary fundraising efforts during the pandemic.

MPs in the House of Commons bowed their heads in tribute before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s weekly question and answer session.

Johnson called for the country to come together and give the former soldier a round of applause in recognition of his record-breaking achievements.

“We all now have the opportunity to show our appreciation for him and all that he stood for and believed in,” he said.

“That is why I encourage everyone to join in a national clap for Captain Tom and all those health workers for whom he raised money at 6pm this evening.” Moore raised nearly 33 million ($45 million, 37 million euros) for UK health service charities by completing 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday last April.

His efforts won hearts as Britons grappled with the first coronavirus lockdown last year, and spurred many other campaigns to raise cash for the state-run National Health Service (NHS).

Among the many accolades showered on him was a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at a special open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The monarch, 94, has sent a private letter of condolence to his family, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday. Moore died in hospital in Bedford, southern England, on Tuesday after receiving treatment for pneumonia and testing positive for coronavirus.

In the Bedfordshire village of Marston Moretaine where Moore lived, his neighbours expressed their sadness, while well-wishers left a flood of floral tributes outside his home.

“The first lockdown was very difficult for everybody, but I think the village had a real lift, he gave us a real lift, encouraged people to chat to each other and gave us something to talk about,” neighbour Lucy Handley, 45, said.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2021

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