Captain Sir Tom Moore on becoming a national treasure

Captain Sir Tom Moore on becoming a national treasure, his late wife’s battle with dementia and how he’s taking bets on living until 103 as he becomes GQ magazine’s oldest ever cover star

  • Captain Sir Tom Moore has given a rare insight into his personal life today 
  • The centenarian has become GQ magazine’s oldest ever cover star this month
  • Sir Tom opens up about his first marriage and his late wife’s dementia battle

Captain Sir Tom Moore has given a rare insight into his personal life today after becoming GQ magazine’s oldest cover star. 

The centenarian was a beacon of light to emerge at the height of the coronavirus pandemic as he raised millions for the NHS and instilled a sense of togetherness and positivity in the nation. 

His efforts earned him a Knighthood and a promotion to honorary Colonel, and now he has achieved yet another accolade after being named GQ’s Inspiration of the Year 2020.

In an interview with the magazine, Sir Tom opened up about his 20-year first marriage, his beloved late wife’s battle with dementia, and how he wants to be there for ‘lonely people in need of help’.

The national treasure also spoke about installing two stair lifts at his home and and how he has ‘lots of sugar’ on his porridge every morning, ‘because cholesterol is the least of his worries at 100.’

Captain Sir Tom Moore has become GQ magazine’s oldest cover star as he received the Inspiration of the Year award 

In an interview with the magazine , Sir Tom opened up about his 20-year first marriage, his beloved late wife’s battle with dementia, and how he wants to be there for ‘lonely people in need of help’

Sir Tom raised more than £32million for the NHS by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden in April. 

He made headlines as he walked laps of his garden in the run-up to his 100th birthday, amid the pandemic, to raise funds from the NHS.

He initially aimed to raise £1,000 but broke two Guinness World Records and scored a Number One single in the process.

He lead the nation with his upbeat phrase, ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’, and has since given more than 700 media interviews.  

Speaking about his personal life, Sir Tom told GQ about his unconsummated marriage to first wife Ethel and how he became a father in his forties. 

He said he wasn’t worried about fatherhood passing him by, adding: ‘Negative thoughts don’t seem to be part of me. I always think of the beneficial things.’ 

In the heartfelt interview he also opened up about his second wife Pamela’s dementia battle and how it has inspired him to help other elderly people who have no relatives.  

Speaking about the moment he had to put his wife in a care home, he added: ‘I had been looking after her at home a long time. But I realised I couldn’t do it any longer, that she needed day-to-day assistance. 

‘Taking her… she didn’t really know what we were doing. And I felt… I felt I was letting her down.

‘I realise it was the best that could be done. I realise my effort wasn’t enough.’

Sir Tom was knighted by the Queen at a socially-distanced ceremony at Windsor Castle in July 

Captain Tom Moore, with (left to right) grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia, at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden

In the role of Chief Inspecting Officer, Captain Sir Tom Moore, inspects the Junior Soldiers at their Graduation Parade during a visit to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate

In September it was revealed his story and life as a young Captain during the war would be getting the big-screen treatment following a fierce bidding war for the film rights.  

Speaking to GQ, Sir Tom said he has ‘enjoyed every minute of it’ but says he won’t stop the fundraising as he plans to help lonely people in need. 

The 100-year-old also joked about being the centre of attention for the GQ photoshoot and heaped praise on footballer Marcus Rashford for his campaign for free school meals.

Sir Tom also spoke about installing two stair lifts at his home, ‘so I can come and go as I please’ and having sugar on his prroidge every morning, because at the grand old age of 100, ‘cholesterol is the least of his worries.’

  • The GQ Men of The Year Awards, in association with Hugo Boss, will take place on YouTube Premiere on 26th November at 8pm.   

From Yorkshire to India: Colonel Tom Moore’s career in the military

Colonel Tom pictured during the Second World War. Boris Johnson described him as a national treasure during the Covid-19 crisis after raising almost £33million for the NHS

Captain Tom Moore was conscripted into the British Army in June 1940 when he was 20, alongside all men aged 20 to 35.  

He began his military career in Otley, West Yorkshire, where he joined the 8th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment under Lieutenant Lord George Saville.

The Regiment was sent to train in Wadebridge, Cornwall where they were tasked with coastal defence amid a predicted German invasion.

A young Captain Moore was soon promoted to Corporal and sent to the officer cadet training unit in Droitwich Spa.

Here, he celebrated his 21st birthday after he passed as a Second Lieutenant.

In August 1941, he was sent to the DWR headquarters in Halifax where he joined the 9th Battalion at Winchcombe.  

The infantry battalion then converted to an armoured regiment 146th Royal Armoured Corp, though the majority of the soldiers could not drive.

Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20

In October, the unit was posted to Bombay, now Mumbai, in India. The journey took six weeks by sea, with a four-day delay in Freetown, Sierra Leone and a four-day stop in Cape Town.

Captain Moore then took a train from Bombay to Poona, before arriving at Kirkee, a town now known as Khadki.

The 9th DWR formed the 50th Indian Tank Brigade under the command of Brigadier Schreiber.

Captain Moore was then asked by the Brigadier to start a motorcycling course for the Brigade due to his expertise for the sport.    

The Brigade was then ordered to move to Calcutta – the road journey was in a monsoon and took three weeks. 

His Battalion was stationed in the Lohardaga district near Ranchi.

They then took part in two exercises in the Arakan before moving further east and south to Rangoon.

Captain Moore was then sent on a course at the approved vehicle depot in Bovington, England.

He remained here as an instructor until it was closed. 

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