Lockdown Blog: 20 O Captain! My Captain!

[With a deep, resonant, slightly breathy, Hollywood-esque, American accent] ‘In a world that’s divided, one man has come to unite the country for the common good…’

Don’t know about you but I’ve been captivated, like millions of others, by this story of a very nearly one hundred-year-old man who’s managed to achieve something quite remarkable.

The story began a few weeks ago when Captain Tom Moore, aka Captain Tom, vowed to walk one hundred laps of his yard before his 100th birthday at the end of this month in order to raise £1,000 for our National Health Service.

What’s happened since has been nothing short of remarkable. When I donated yesterday it had reached over £18,000,000!!! UnbeLEAVable!

I was thinking about what has made this the success story of the year and I came up with a few thoughts. See if you agree.

The Cause

Right now, millions of nurses and doctors and support staff around the world are risking their lives, coming into hospitals and other places of care – ‘the frontline’, as it’s been dubbed – to look after the most vulnerable people. And they do it tirelessly, often working overtime, under extreme conditions, and not always with the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). There are not enough words to express the gratitude that is felt from everyone safe at home, watching events unfold on the internet or whatever source of news (reputable or questionable) you rely on at this time. Our NHS is amazing and it’s one of the most important cornerstones of our society. Long may that continue.

The Hero

We all love a character that pushes themselves to their limits. A person who seems to combine desire, humility, respect, friendliness, dignity and endeavour. Let me introduce you to Tom. Tom was born and brought up in Keighley, Yorkshire. He went to Keighley Grammar School and later completed an apprenticeship as a Civil Engineer. Tom went onto being enlisted in 8 DWR (145 RAC) at the beginning of the war, and in 1940 was selected for Officer training. He was later posted to 9DWR in India, and served and fought on the Arakan, went to Regiment to Sumatra after the Japanese surrender and returned to be Instructor at Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington. 

The Action

Here we have a man who’s served his country, putting his body on the line for one of the greatest causes the world’s ever known. Not happy with doing that once, here he is once again, aged 99 and lots of days, encouraging us all to do whatever we can to support those fighting for arguably the greatest cause of our lifetime, one tiny step at a time. I’ve seen all sorts of wonderful initiatives: running 5K, doing a marathon, cycling 36 hours in three days, and many more, to raise money for worthy causes. Tom’s planning on walking only a total of around 2.5K. And yet, currently, each one of his steps is worth thousands of pounds!

The Timing

Last, but certainly by no means least, we are all in need of something like this. Right now, cooped up indoors for varying lengths of time depending on where we live, this has been the feel good story that we’ve all been craving. ‘If Tom can do it, and he’s nearly 100, then I can do it!’ No donation is too big or too small and it turns out that lots of people giving little amounts equals a lot of money. When I started writing this blog he was up to £21,450,325.87. By the time of posting this it’s now up to £22,647,324.04!!!!! I see he’s even got a Wikipedia page (a sign that you’ve clearly made it in life) and he’s down as a Fundraiser! What a legend…He’s now the nation’s favourite adopted grandad and the calls for a knighthood will be getting louder and louder! If you haven’t got any plans on April 30th, how about saying Happy 100th Birthday Captain Tom. Or if you like old planes, and live somewhere near him, he’ll be honoured by a Spitfire flyover.

Take care wherever you are and we’ll see you soon.

Bye for now!


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