100-year-old WWII veteran who raised $40M for UK’s COVID-19 efforts to be knighted

Coronavirus

BEDFORDSHIRE, England (CNN) — “Captain Tom” Moore, the war veteran who raised almost £33 million ($40 million) for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) by taking laps of his backyard, is to receive a knighthood after a special nomination from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The World War II veteran, who celebrated his 100th birthday in April, raised a record amount for the NHS in its battle against the coronavirus by walking around his garden in Bedfordshire, southeast England, with the help of a frame.

Moore, who rose to the rank of Captain during his military career, was recently promoted to honorary Colonel in recognition for his efforts.

Johnson personally recommended to Queen Elizabeth that Moore should be exceptionally honored, according to a Downing Street press release.

“Colonel Tom’s fantastic fundraising broke records, inspired the whole country and provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus,” said Johnson in the release.

“On behalf of everyone who has been moved by his incredible story, I want to say a huge thank you. He’s a true national treasure.”

The Queen has approved the honor, which will be formally announced on Wednesday.

The UK has been hit hard by the coronavirus — with a death toll of more than 35,000 — the highest number outside of the US and the largest in Europe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The country’s government is also set to give further details on plans for how “frontline heroes” who have been working to help the nation during the pandemic will be honored in the coming months and how the public will be able to play their part.

A government spokesperson said: “We know there is huge appetite to say thank you to all those supporting the nation during this emergency and doing incredible things day in, day out, up and down the country.”

Moore received more than 125,000 birthday cards last month, with volunteers enlisted to help open them all. He had originally set a target of raising £1,000 ($1,257) by his 100th birthday.

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