Captain Sir Tom Moore has died with coronavirus.
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image captionArtworks, including this mural in Southport, were made in honour of Capt Sir Tom
The 100-year-old, who raised almost £33m for NHS charities, was taken to Bedford Hospital after requiring help with his breathing on Sunday.
The Queen led tributes to Capt Sir Tom, “recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world”.
His daughters said they “shared laughter and tears” with their father in their final few hours together.
Capt Sir Tom tested positive for Covid-19 last week. His family said due to other medication he was receiving for pneumonia, he was unable to be vaccinated.
The Army veteran won the nation’s hearts by walking 100 laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine last year during the first lockdown, raising money for NHS Charities Together.
He was knighted by the Queen in July in a special ceremony at Windsor Castle.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Capt Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. Her thoughts, and those of the royal family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world.”
In a statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and in the face of this country’s deepest post-war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.
“He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with his daughter Hannah and all his family.”
The flag above 10 Downing Street has been flying at half-mast following the news.
Boris Johnson has spoken to Capt Sir Tom’s daughter Mrs Ingram-Moore to offer his condolences.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “This is incredibly sad news. Captain Tom Moore put others first at a time of national crisis and was a beacon of hope for millions. Britain has lost a hero.”
In a statement, Capt Sir Tom’s daughters Mrs Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father.
“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.
“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.
“Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.”
image copyrightPA Media
image captionCaptain Sir Tom Moore raised almost £33m for the NHS
Capt Sir Tom’s daughters said the care he received from the NHS was “extraordinary”.
They said staff had been “unfalteringly professional, kind and compassionate and have given us many more years with him than we ever would have imagined”.
Capt Sir Tom, who was originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, joined the Army at the beginning of World War Two, serving in India and Myanmar, then known as Burma.
He became the oldest person to have a UK number one when he performed You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball.
The singer said on Twitter: “Rest in peace @captaintommoore. A wonderful life so well lived and a hero and fighter to the very end. So very very sad. Love and prayers for @Hannah_I_M and all the family.”