IN HIS 99th year Captain Sir Tom Moore won the hearts of the nation with his extraordinary fundraising efforts for an NHS charity.

The Keighley-born retired army officer, who served in India and Myanmar - formerly Burma - in the Second World War, was inspired to help the health service after receiving treatment for skin cancer of the head, and a broken hip after a fall in 2018.

He described the NHS staff who helped him through this as “marvellous”, and pledged to help those same “super” people who were working on the front line to fight coronavirus.

The former pupil of the then Keighley Grammar School set out to raise £1,000 in aid of the health service’s charitable wing, NHS Charities Together. Wearing a cheery smile, he planned to do this by walking 100 laps of the garden at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire before his 100th birthday in April.

Captain Tom lifted the spirits of people across Britain as he completed lap after lap, using a walking frame to keep him steady. As his progress was documented in the media, young and old were with him every step of the way.

By the time he reached his target on 16 April, Captain Tom, as he had become affectionately known, had raised more than £12 million and had become a national hero.

Little did he know, he was on his way to raising the staggering sum of £32.8 million (£39.3 million including Gift Aid).

On April 30 the veteran fundraiser celebrated his 100th birthday, an occasion marked with accolades including an RAF flypast and birthday greetings from the Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. To his delight he was also made an honorary colonel, and became an honorary member of the England cricket team.

He received so many birthday cards from people across Britain and beyond, they were put on show in the huge hall at his grandson Benji’s school. His family later donated 100 of the cards which now form part of a permanent display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

In July Captain Tom was knighted in the Queen’s first official engagement in person since the series of lockdowns began in March. The investiture to honour the centenarian took place in a unique ceremony at Windsor Castle. “I am absolutely overawed,” he said at the time, “This is such a high award and to get it from Her Majesty as well - what more can anyone wish for? This has been an absolutely magnificent day for me.”

Captain Tom was born in Keighley on April 30,1920. His father came from a family of builders and his mother was a head teacher at a local school.

He said his biggest influence in his younger years was his uncle Billy, from whom he got his love of motorbikes. Captain Tom later worked as a British Army despatch rider and later in life raced motorcycles. Last year Bradford Council’s Museums and Galleries Service found a Scott Flying Squirrel motorbike which Captain Tom rode competitively. It is on long-term loan at the museum from its owner David Wood, son of Bradford’s reknowned commercial photographer CH Wood. Captain Tom was a member of the Keighley and District Photographic Association between 1934 and 1936, as his father had also been

Elected for officer training in the forces, Captain Tom became a second lieutenant on his 21st birthday, and as part of the 146th Royal Armoured Corps, he rose to the rank of captain and found himself posted to India.

After the war he worked as a sales manager for a roofing materials company in Yorkshire and then became managing director of a company which manufactured concrete.

Captain Tom had two children, Hannah and Lucy, with his second wife Pamela after they were married in 1968. He lived with Hannah, her husband Colin Ingram, and their children Benji and Georgia. He is also a dad to daughter Lucy Teixeira who is based in Reading, and has two sons Max and Tom.

Max previously commented on his grandad’s amazing achievements, saying: “We’re just shocked and proud of him beyond belief.”

Captain Tom struggled to hold back tears as he discussed his grandchildren when appearing on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. He said: “I’ve got four grandchildren, and what more could you ask for than that.”

In recognition of his efforts, he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award at the 2020 ceremony.

He also became the oldest person to achieve a number one hit in the UK music charts after performing in a cover version of the song You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by Michael Ball, with proceeds going to to the same NHS charity.

He also inspired countless fundraising efforts by people across Britain.

In February he was taken into Bedford Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus and shortly after, on February 2, he died. His family said due to other medication he was receiving for pneumonia, he was unable to be vaccinated against the virus.

The service began with him being honoured by the military. Six Yorkshire Regiment members carried his coffin, draped in the union jack, and an honour guard fired three volleys.Then came a rendition of Sir Tom’s You’ll Never Walk Alone and the NHS Voices of Care Choir. The celebrant conducting the funeral described him as “a proud British veteran and a gentleman”.

Tributes poured in from all over the world to this remarkable man from West Yorkshire.

Captain Tom’s amazing achievement will live on through The Captain Tom Foundation, set up to support causes close to his heart including combating loneliness, championing education and equality and continued support for the NHS.