LONDON - Captain Tom More who turned a 100 was promoted to an honorary colonel by Queen Elisabeth II of England and his birthday was also celebrated with a flyover his house by the second World War spitfire planes.
The British second World War veteran raised over £30 million ($40 million) by his charity walk in his garden. He initially wanted to raise one thousand pounds for the National Health Service.
The retired army captain, who has used a walking frame with wheels to move around since breaking his hip, set himself the target of walking the 25 metres around his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30.
He completed the walk to praise from around the country and beyond - and a salute from soldiers in the regiment which replaced his own.
Raised in Yorkshire, northern England, Moore served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War Two.
He said he had been inspired by the care he received from Britain’s state-run health service when he broke his hip and when he was treated for cancer.
His original target was 1,000 pounds.
But that modest aim was blown away as media attention from around the globe zoomed in on his garden in Bedfordshire, central England.
The story has lifted the hearts of a nation in lockdown, weary of relentless waves of grim news.
Moore said the money donated was an “absolutely fantastic sum of money”.
“It’s unbelievable that people would be so kind to give that sort of money to the National Health Service,” he said.
Moore received a guard of honour from soldiers from the First Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, the successor to his Duke of Wellington’s regiment, as he completed his final lap.
Afterwards he received messages of congratulation from figures from sport, politics and entertainment. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sent him a video message telling how inspiring he was to the nation in lockdown.
He also received an unbelievable over 150,000 cards wishing him happy birthday.
Moore, however, remained focused on the sacrifices made by health service workers and the efforts of his fellow Britons, who have been locked down since March 23.
“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right, it might take time,” Moore said. “At the end of the day we shall all be okay again.”