Hero Tom, 100, to be knighted

World | REUTERS 21 May 2020

Tom Moore, a hero in Britain after raising more than 33 million (HK$313 million) for the National Health Service in the run-up to his 100th birthday, is to be knighted.

He will be Sir Tom after a special nomination from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The World War II veteran raised the money by completing 100 laps of his garden with the aid of a walking frame, becoming a symbol of endurance in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Moore said he looked forward to meeting Queen Elizabeth, 94.

"I hope she's not very heavy-handed with the sword," he quipped, referring to a knighthood being bestowed by a monarch tapping a sword on a recipient's shoulders.

He added: "I am overawed by the fact this has happened to me."

The honor will be the latest for Moore. For his 100th birthday last month he was promoted from his old rank of captain to colonel and made an honorary member of the England cricket team.

Johnson said Moore provided "a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus ... He's a true national treasure."

Raised in northern England, Moore served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War II.

His walking achievement won many hearts.

And he now urges young people to look forward with hope and "give everybody a little smile and see if they'll smile back.

"You have got to look forward to the fact that things will improve as they always do: things will get better and we will have a lovely golden sky and hear the larks singing again beautifully."

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