Heartfelt tributes have poured in across Harborough for NHS fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore after he has died aged 100.
The inspirational Second World War veteran has sadly lost his battle for life after being taken in to hospital with coronavirus and pneumonia.
Known around the world as simply Captain Tom, the universally-admired and much-loved dad and grandad raised over £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before he turned 100 last April.
“This is a very sad day for all of us.
“Captain Tom was part of our greatest ever generation – and he will never be forgotten.
“He went away and he fought alongside our brave boys in India and Burma in the Second World War.
“This grand old soldier took part in one of the toughest, cruellest campaigns of the entire war,” Stewart Harrison, 73, chairman of the Royal British Legion in Market Harborough, told the Harborough Mail.
“He then came home and promptly got on with his life where he’d left off as if he’d never seen such horrors at first hand.
“And then at the remarkable age of 99 Captain Tom climbed out of his chair and walked a staggering 100 times round his garden.
“He raised over £32 million for the NHS as the health service fought the coronavirus pandemic.
“But Captain Tom did far more than that.
“He showed us all the way forward when this country was on its knees as the Covid pandemic hit us all so hard.
“Captain Tom symbolised and showcased all that is best about our glorious British military veterans – and we should all be very proud of him.
“His passing is a very sad loss.
“But Captain Tom did much more than his bit for King and Country in the last war as he put his life on the line as we fought the Japanese in a brutal conflict.
“And in the last year or so he has shown himself to be a genuine national hero as he galvanised the entire nation – and for that we are all deeply grateful.
“He always looked on the bright side, he was always optimistic, he always had a smile on his face - rest in peace Captain Tom.”
Harborough MP Neil O’Brien told the Mail: “Captain Tom was an inspirational giant of a man.
“He showed everyone what we are all capable of doing – and cheered up millions of people at a very difficult time for the country.
“And he showed us all the resoundingly positive, highly-admirable qualities that we have come to expect from our courageous and resilient wartime veterans.”
Neil added: “His sense of public spirit and incredible devotion helped to generate over £32 million for the NHS – helping so many other people and saving so many lives.
“It is desperately sad that Captain Tom has passed away, he was a wonderful, magnificent man with a lovely sense of humour.
“This fantastic old soldier inspired tens of millions of people – not just here in the UK but all over the world.
“Captain Tom’s beloved family and devoted friends should be very proud of all that he did and all that he achieved.
“He has been a shining beacon of light during a very dark time and for that we can never thank him enough.”