Devon joins flood of tributes for nation's hero Captain Sir Tom
- Credit: PA Pictures
Tributes from across Devon joined those from across the country after the sad death of 100-year-old Captain Sir Tom Moore.
News of his death was announced on Tuesday.
The NHS fundraising hero was admitted to hospital on Sunday, January 31 after being treated for pneumonia and testing positive for coronavirus.
A statement from his family confirmed that he had passed away with a statement saying that "the last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable".
The Queen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among the first to pay tribute.
The Royal Family said in a statement: "The Queen and the royal family’s thoughts are with Captain Sir Tom Moore’s family and she is sending a private message of condolence."
The PM said: “He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts are with all his family."
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East Devon MP Simon Jupp said on Twitter: "Very sad news. We've lost a truly great man."
Brixham MP Anthony Mangnall said: “At the darkest of hours you were an inspiration to us all. Thank you for your service, your duty and your dedication.”
Emergency services officers have also paid tribute. Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith saying: "A little bit of Great Britain died today."
On Twitter Exeter Chiefs were ‘saddened to hear of the passing. We send our deepest condolences to his family.'
RIP Captain Sir Tom Moore, 100," said TV presenter Piers Morgan.
Football pundit Gary Lineker also paid tribute to the "national treasure".
Torbay Council Tory Group leader Dave Thomas said: “So sad to hear about the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore, although I never knew him or met him - somehow I feel all of us have a connection with this great man. I feel very sad and upset at his passing and I can't explain it.”
The Torquay United Supporter’s Trust joined in the tributes saying: “RIP Captain Sir Tom Moore. A True Hero.”
Captain Tom’s daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira hailed the last year of his life as "nothing short of remarkable", adding: "He was rejuvenated and experienced things he'd only ever dreamed of."
Premier Mr Johnson spoke to Ms Ingram-Moore to offer his condolences and the flag above 10 Downing Street will fly at half-mast.
Sir Tom had been taken to hospital on Sunday after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for coronavirus last week.
His family praised the care he had received from the NHS and said they had been able to spend time with him in his final hours.
In a statement, Hannah and Lucy said: "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."
Sir Tom's fundraising efforts raised more than £32 million for the NHS, walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown in April.
The veteran set out to raise £1,000 from his charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.
He raised a total of £32.7 million, with donations from 1.5 million supporters, before his fundraising page was closed at midnight following his 100th birthday on April 30.
Sir Tom started his challenge a little over three weeks earlier, and encouraged people to continue to donate to NHS Charities Together.
In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.
Sir Tom rounded off 2020 with a trip to Barbados with his family, and his fundraising efforts were marked during the new year drone display in London, as his figure appeared over the O2 Arena.
Singer Michael Ball, who recorded a charity single with Sir Tom that reached number one, wrote 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."
Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said his fundraising efforts had "reached the length and breadth of the UK".
"Captain Sir Tom inspired so many people to take on their own extraordinary challenges, from running marathons to swimming lakes, and he gave us all hope," she said.
"He showed NHS patients and staff who were struggling that people cared, that they were looking out for them and doing what they could to support them.
"Captain Sir Tom was a one-off and he leaves the world a better place."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London mayor Sadiq Khan were also among those to pay tribute.
Information released on behalf of Sir Tom's family revealed he tested positive for Covid-19 on January 22 after returning home from hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
A statement said he was tested regularly for Covid-19 between December 9 and January 12 and each test returned negative.
"He was admitted to hospital on January 12. Whilst in hospital he received a pneumonia diagnosis. In addition, as with other patients, he was tested regularly for Covid-19," the statement said.
"On January 22, Tom was discharged from hospital back to the family home where he felt most comfortable. Unfortunately he was left still fighting pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19 that day.
"He remained at home, cared for by family and medical professionals, until he needed additional help with his breathing. He was taken by ambulance to Bedford Hospital on Sunday January 31."