Portsmouth pays tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who died with Covid-19

HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who died in hospital earlier today.

By David George
Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 7:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 7:27 pm

The armed forces veteran, who turned 100 last year, inspired people up and down the country after raising millions of pounds for the NHS – all from walking laps of his garden in Bedfordshire.

On Monday, he was taken into hospital with coronavirus, with his family informing the country of his death this afternoon.

Now, veterans and politicians have paid tribute to a man who proved age is no obstacle to accomplishment.

Captain Sir Tom Moore at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Picture: James Hardisty

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Labour MP for Portsmouth South and shadow armed forces minister, Stephen Morgan, said: ‘It is terribly sad to hear of Captain Sir Tom's passing. I know people across our nation will join with me in passing on condolences to his loved ones.

‘His service and efforts to support the NHS were a reminder of how much our armed forces have to offer.

‘A national treasure and inspiration during unprecedented challenges, may he rest in peace.’

In tribute, the flag above 10 Downing Street has been flying at half-mast, and prime minister Boris Johnson has offered his condolences to Captain Sir Tom's family.

The army veteran was knighted after his remarkable fundraising efforts in the first national lockdown.

Conservative councillor for Hilsea, Cllr Frank Jonas BEM, spent many years championing Portsmouth’s armed forces.

He said the best thing about Captain Sir Tom was how he never lost sight of what he stood for.

‘Captain Sir Tom was just so down to earth, he had old-school values and gave everyone hope,’ he said.

‘He didn’t think he was anything special and that’s what won the nation's hearts.

‘A genuinely lovely bloke who never lost the common touch, and he will be sorely missed by everyone.’

Fellow armed forces veteran John Shepard, from Gosport, added: ‘Today we lost an absolute legend of a gentleman.

‘From serving in Burma during the Second World War and becoming an armoured instructor to getting a knighthood, he was and always will be remembered.

‘Stand easy Captain, your time is done.’

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said Captain Sir Tom was a shining light for people during lockdown.

He said: ‘What he did at such a dark time when people were feeling down, was give them hope.

‘His optimism that better days lie ahead was really important, but he also showed that ordinary people can do something that makes a difference, no matter how old they are.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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