Tom Moore, the 100-year-old British national hero who raised millions of pounds for the National Health Service during the pandemic, was sent off with military honors at his funeral on Saturday.
Soldiers in Bedford, England, carried Mr. Moore’s coffin and performed a firing gun salute for the decorated World War II veteran, who came to be known and loved as “Captain Tom.” The ceremony was also marked by the flyover of a World War II-era Royal Air Force plane.
Mr. Moore became a national sensation last year when he took up his walker for charity and started doing laps around his brick garden patio in Marston Moretaine, a village an hour north of London.
His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, publicized his walks and helped turn them into an online fund-raising campaign with the original goal of raising £1,000 for the National Health Service, which was stretched to the breaking point by the pandemic.
Mr. Moore ultimately did 100 laps, raising £32.8 million, or $45 million, and skyrocketing to beloved celebrity status. He died in February after being treated for pneumonia, and then testing positive for the coronavirus.
“We had been so close as a family before this, but we were thrust even closer together as the world became enthralled by your spirit of hope, positivity and resilience,” Ms. Ingram-Moore said on Saturday, during a service limited to family members but broadcast online. “They too saw your belief in kindness and the fundamental goodness of the human spirit.”
With his spry charm, mischievous smile and dapper attire, Mr. Moore became a star of international media. He recorded a chart-topping song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” with the singer Michael Ball. And he caught the attention of Queen Elizabeth II, who made a rare public appearance during the pandemic to knight him at Windsor Castle.
When he died, tributes poured in from pop stars and everyday citizens alike.
“At that time, the people my age, we were fighting on the front line and the general public was standing behind us,” he said. “In this instance, the doctors and nurses and all the medical people, they’re the front line. It’s up to my generation to back them up, just as we were backed up.”
He spent the last few months of his life writing a book that included directions for his funeral, the BBC reported. In a section released by the family, Mr. Moore requested that the service include the song “My Way,” by Frank Sinatra. It did.
“I always did things my way,” he wrote, “and especially like the line about having too few regrets to mention.”