Royal News

Captain Tom Moore’s birthday Spitfire flypast still going ahead despite lockdown rules

The Mark 9 Spitfire, named The Spirit Of Kent, will fly over Cpt Tom’s home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, at 8pm on Thursday. This will be an extra special occasion as it will arrive just in time for the nation’s weekly Clap For Carers. It was reported that the Department of Transport cited concerns over whether it would encourage people to flought social-distancing roles during the coronavirus lockdown.

But the DfT has since told that this is “a mistake”.

A restoration company had announced plans to fly a lone Spitfire over Captain Moore’s house in Marston Moretaine this Thursday, when he turns 100.

The spitfire is set to fly past at 250mph and around 500 feet.

The department had previously said it was “carefully considering proposals to help honour” the captain.

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The gesture comes after the 99-year-old gained nation-wide praiseafter walking 100 laps of his garden to raise funds for the NHS.

The WW2 veteran set a goal of 1,000 and ended up raising £29million for the NHS.

After 500,000 people signed a petition calling for the veteran to be knighted, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would “certainly be looking at ways to recognise Tom for his heroic efforts”.

When asked about the prospect he would be knighted, Moore said: “I’d be amazed to have such an honour and meet our absolutely marvellous Queen.”

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The company behind the plans has said it will instead fly the plane over London’s Biggin Hill at the same time as the weekly “Clap for our carers” as a joint celebration.

It has also offered a flight to Captain Moore in September.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Alex Monk of the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, said: “If it’s safe to do so, we’ll fly him in one of the two-seater Spitfires.

“That’s still something nice for him to look forward to.

“I think he’d appreciate that.”

The Royal Mail has also said it will be marking letters with a special stamp to celebrate the veteran’s 100th birthday.

“Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020,” the message will read.

The Yorkshire-born hero trained with the 8 DWR (145 RAC) and was posted with 9DWR in India, where he served at the Arakan (now Rakhine) at the outset of the Second World War in 1940.

Captain Tom went on to Regiment after the Japanese surrender in Sumatra and returned to the UK to instruct at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington.

The retired captain has continued his heroics in later life with his pledge to lap his back garden 100 times in aid of the NHS.

Captain Tom completed his goal flanked by a guard of honour from the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.

The veteran told the BBC he didn’t anticipate the “enormous” public support.

He said: “I think that’s absolutely enormous.

“At no time when we started off with this exercise did we anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money.

“It just shows that people have such high regard for matters of our National Health Service and it’s really amazing that people have paid so much money.”

Captain Tom added to ITV: “I’ve always been one for having a future, I always think things will be good. We’ve fought so many battles and we’ve always won and we’re going to win again.”


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