1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

UK war veteran raises millions for health workers

April 16, 2020

A 99-year-old war veteran from England has been using his walking frame to raise money for UK health workers battling coronavirus. Captain Tom Moore initially wanted to raise 1,000 pounds but ended up raising 12 million.

99-year-old Captain Tom Moore walking laps in his front garden
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Goodall

British World War II veteran Tom Moore completed a 100-lap walk around his garden on Thursday, raising more than 12 million pounds ($15 million, €13.8 million) for health care workers dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In the course of his journey, the former army captain also won the hearts of supporters around the world.

Captain Tom had set himself the target of walking around his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30. He initially hoped to raise 1,000 pounds for health care workers on the frontline against coronavirus.

But, as his effort garnered attention, news of the endeavor went viral.

Read more: Gourmet chef cooks for heroes in the corona crisis

As he crossed the finish line, Moore was surprised with a guard of honor by members of the First Batallion of the Yorkshire Regiment.

"I never ever dreamt that I would be involved in such an occasion as this," Moore told the BBC's Breakfast program.

"We will get through it in the end. It will all be right, but it might take time," he said when asked for advice for those struggling with the lockdown. "The sun will shine on you once again and the clouds will go away."

Moore decided to do something for Britain's National Health Service (NHS) after receiving treatment for a broken hip and cancer. His wife was also treated by the NHS for many years before her death.

Moore, originally from Yorkshire, trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army for the war. During his time, he rose to captain and served in India, Sumatra, and Burma.  

"In the last war, it was soldiers in uniform on the frontline. This time our army are the doctors and nurses," said Moore earlier this month. "They have done so well for me and they are doing so well for everybody."

Every evening, DW sends out a selection of the day's news and features. Sign up here.

Richard Connor Reporting on stories from around the world, with a particular focus on Europe — especially Germany.