Great Britain

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral procession sets off on NHS fundraising hero’s final journey

CAPTAIN Sir Tom Moore’s funeral procession has set off on the NHS fundraising hero's final journey.

The veteran's send off is set to be a true spectacle, with soldier pallbearers as well as a gun salute from his former regiment, as well as an RAF flypast.

Follow the latest updates on Captain Tom Moore's funeral on our live blog

The C-47 Dakota, part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, will soar overhead during the ceremony.

Sir Tom's 100th birthday celebrations last year included a Spitfire flypast and he was snapped punching the air as it went past.

Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment will carry his coffin to the crematorium today, with a firing party, a bugler and a ceremonial guard also forming part of the service.

Church bells around the country are set to ring at noon to give Captain Tom a "quite spectacular" send-off.

And singer Michael Buble has recorded a version of song Smile to be played.

The charity single Sir Tom recorded with Michael Ball, You'll Never Walk Alone, will also be played, along with The White Cliffs Of Dover by Dame Vera Lynn, I Vow To Thee My Country by Alife Boe and My Way by Frank Sinatra.

Meanwhile, the deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, David Pearson, has laid a wreath in Keighley - Sir Tom's birthplace - on behalf of the Queen.

The wreath featured 200 white roses around a picture of the late record-breaking fundraiser.

Wreaths of poppies were also laid by local MP Robbie Moore and the town's mayor and mayoress, Peter Corkindale and Clare Abberton.

Sir Tom was made an honorary freeman of Keighley last summer.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "In national emergencies ordinary people do extraordinary things and inspire us all to pull together to overcome adversity.

"Few will have heard of Sir Tom before this crisis but his contribution and example now lives on in us all.

"The armed forces are immensely proud to contribute to the celebration of his extraordinary life of service."

Sir Tom, whose final send off is today, served with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment during the Second World War.

It later merged with two others from Yorkshire, becoming the Yorkshire Regiment, and Sir Tom was made an Honorary Colonel last August.

Six soldiers from the regiment will carry Sir Tom's coffin into the crematorium near his family home in Bedfordshire.

His daughter Lucy Teixeira, 52, said the service will be "quite spectacular", adding: "There's just going to be the eight of us under full Covid restrictions, we will honour him the best way we possibly can.

He inspired us

CAPTAIN Sir Tom Moore was justly proud to his last day of his service with the Yorkshire Regiment.

He was among those veterans who stood and served again in this trying time — one of the band of brothers who never lost their spirit of service and ingrained desire to do their bit for Queen and country.

He showed us what we can achieve by ourselves and how much more we can accomplish together.

He symbolised steadfast, tireless public servants, NHS workers, military personnel and the multitudes who have kept our country going.

When our spirits were low this stoic veteran radiated hope.

Captain Tom, you inspired a nation.

By Johnny Mercer, Minister for Veterans

"My sister and I have been creating the funeral that my father wanted.

"He was very clear in his wishes and if he could have been put into a cardboard box, he would have done that, rather than chop down a tree."

She says the family has received many messages from well-wishers, and that it was "wonderful" to see people writing in an online book of condolence.

A firing party of 14 will each fire three rounds in unison, and a bugler will sound The Last Post at the end of the private service.

Six representatives from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, where Sir Tom was made an Honorary Colonel, will then form a ceremonial guard.

Sir Tom passed away aged 100 at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.

The war hero raised more than £32 million for the NHS with his sponsored walk of his garden in the first lockdown.

His funeral will be attended by eight members of his immediate family - his two daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, four grandchildren and his sons-in-law.

Sir Tom asked that My Way by Frank Sinatra is played at his funeral and that his epitaph reads 'I told you I was old', in reference to comedian Spike Milligan's famous epitaph 'I told you I was ill'.

The family has urged that people support the NHS by staying at home.

Once Covid-19 restrictions permit, they will inter Sir Tom's ashes in Yorkshire, with his parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.

Meanwhile, Captain Tom's regiment could face cuts of 10,000 troops in the defence review next month, The Telegraph reported.

General Sir Nick Carter, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and Sir Mark Carle ton-Smith, Chief of the General Staff, are understood to be "looking at all of the infantry regiments that have more than one battalion, which includes the Yorkshires".

Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, is considering reducing full-time army posts from 82,000 to 72,5000 as part of the review which would, in turn, free up funding for other military equipment.

The Sun has contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment.

Captain Sir Tom Moore's daughter Hannah fights back tears as Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid pay tribute to 'extraordinary' hero

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