Suffolk pays tribute to lockdown NHS hero Captain Sir Tom Moore
- Credit: Archant
NHS fundraising Captain Sir Tom Moore, who captured the heart of the nation during the first coronavirus lockdown, has died aged 100.
The Second World War veteran captured the nation's spirit during the first lockdown last year, raising money for the NHS by walking laps of his garden in April.
His story was shared across the world, raising more than £32million for the health service in the process.
He tested positive for coronavirus last month, having already contracted pneumonia, and was again admitted to hospital to receive help with his breathing.
He died surrounded by his family on Tuesday, February 2.
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His daughters, Lucy and Hannah, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime.
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"We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.
“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.”
Tributes to the much-loved veteran have poured in since the family's announcement, with Buckingham Palace giving its condolences to his family.
Locally, members of the public have been sharing their tributes via social media alongside Ipswich Town Football Club – with Martlesham Primary School also tweeting: "RIP Sir Captain Tom, a real hero in such hard times. Thank you for giving us all hope in such hard times!"
West Suffolk MP and health secretary Matt Hancock said: "I'm so sorry to hear that Captain Tom has passed away in hospital.
"He was a great British hero that showed the best of our country & I send my best wishes to his family at this time."
Bury St Edmunds MP and health minister Jo Churchill also tweeted: "Such sad news – a hero & a true gentleman, an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace Captain Tom."
Jack Abbott, Suffolk county councillor for the Bridge division of Ipswich, also tweeted: "Incredibly sad news.
"As well as raising an astonishing sum of money for charity, Captain Sir Tom Moore gave the whole nation hope at a time of crisis. This after already serving this country in the Second World War.
"An extraordinary man."