Captain Sir Tom Moore has added to his extraordinary legacy with an eccentric request for his epitaph.
‘Small family funeral’
The NHS fundraising hero passed away on February 2 aged 100 after contracting Covid-19. A “small family funeral” for Captain Sir Tom Moore will take place on Saturday.
Captain Sir Tom’s family has requested that the public do not attend. Instead, they asked the public to “continue to support the NHS by staying at home”.
In a statement, his daughters said Capt Sir Tom had spoken “openly about his death and his funeral” over the past year
They said they father had “wondered out loud if perhaps the interest in him over the last 12 months would mean we would need to have more Victoria Sponge cakes available for the extra guests”.
“Sadly, like so many other families affected by the pandemic, we have no choice but to hold a small family funeral,” they continued.
“Whilst we understand so many people wish to pay their respects to our father, we ask that the public and the press continue to support the NHS by staying at home.”
The Epitaph Engraving
His family have released a passage from his book, Captain Tom’s Life Lessons, in which he details his funeral requests. The centenarian had planned to publish it ahead of his 101st birthday.
The war veteran revealed he was a fan of British radio comedy programme The Goon Show. He would like to replicate the engraving on Spike Milligan’s headstone which reads “I told you I was ill”.
He continues: “I think I’d ask for the simple inscription of my name, the dates of my earthly span, and the words, ‘I told you I was old’.”
Detailing requests for his funeral, the Covid hero said: “I want the service to end with My Way by Frank Sinatra because I always did things my way.”
He wrote that he “especially like [ed] the line about having too few regrets to mention.
‘Touched people’s hearts’
Abiding by Covid restrictions, his funeral will be attended by just eight members his immediate family. His two daughters, Lucy Teixeira and Hannah Ingram-Moore, four grandchildren and his sons-in-law will be present.
She said: “It’s almost indescribable, we’re just an ordinary family just like everyone else. And we sat here thinking, what can we do to help fight the pandemic in those very early days? Raise a thousand pounds? And that was it, there was nothing more to it.”
She added: “What happened was somehow, that story piqued an interest and it touched people’s hearts.
“And all we did as a family was hang on. We were no experts, we had no experience, we in ten days had 1.5million emails and the world’s press was at the gate. And all that we tried to do was lock together, the five of us, and try and do the best we could.
“I think it was here on your programme when we said, look, we don’t even know what the number should be anymore. This is not up to us anymore, this is up to you the great British public.
“And so we handled the story and gave it out as we thought it was the right thing to do. What an incredible journey. We never thought about – we never planned, we never imagined any of it.”
Parts of the funeral will be filmed by the BBC.
Sir Tom’s family will intern his ashes in Yorkshire. He will rest alongside his parents and grandparents in their family plot.
We hope Captain Sir Tom has a funeral deserving of the incredible man that he was.
Image via Alamy