THE celebrant conducting the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore has spoken about how "almost the whole world" has donated to his his fundraiser.

During the service, which is underway, the celebrant said: “It’s quite incredible to think that 163 countries donated to (Sir Tom’s) fundraiser – that’s almost the whole world.

“As wonderful as we think our NHS is, people from other countries really aren’t going to be interested in our health, so it seems obvious to me that they were really investing in Captain Tom and the values he stood for.

“He was a proud British veteran and a gentleman, he lived in a multi-generational environment, not only would that have kept him young, but also symbolises the importance of family to him.

“What sacrifices did he and his peers make in defence of our freedom, a man with a strong moral compass, a strong work ethic, a sense of pride and an indomitable spirit.

“He serves as an inspiration to us all to never give up and always stay strong knowing tomorrow will be a better day.”

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral opened with a rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone that Sir Tom recorded with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir that reached number one last year.

The celebrant conducting the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore has read the poem A Happy Man by Edwin Arlington Robinson, which features the words: “Children that I leave behind, And their children, all were kind; Near to them and to my wife; I was happy all my life.”

Members of the Yorkshire Regiment lifted Sir Captain Tom Moore’s coffin, which is draped in a Union flag, from the hearse and prepared to bear it into Bedfordshire Crematorium.

A Dakota performed a fly-pass ahead of a three-round gun salute by a firing party before the coffin was carried into the building.

A number of special items were placed on the coffin, including a replica of his service cap from the Second World War and a wreath from the Yorkshire Regiment.

Also among the items are his campaign medals, including the Burma Star, and his knighthood medal stitched on to a cushion.

There is also a specially commissioned sword engraved with the motto of the Yorkshire Regiment on one side – “Fortune favours the brave”.

Engraved on the other side is his own personal motto, “Tomorrow will be a good day”.

Members of the public have been asked to stay at home and not attend Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral, but many thousands of people have signed an online book of condolence instead.

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral cortege has arrived at Bedfordshire Crematorium with his coffin draped in a union flag.

The cortege left his home in Marston Moretaine at 11.30am.