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Captain Tom Moore: UK veteran raising millions amid COVID-19 promoted to colonel on 100th birthday

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By Euronews
Captain Tom Moore
Captain Tom Moore   -   Copyright  AP
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A British Second World War veteran raising millions of euros for healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic has been promoted on his 100th birthday.

Captain Tom Moore, who has generated a legion of fans around the world through his fundraising efforts, was made an honorary colonel on his birthday on Thursday.

The centenarian has raised nearly £30m (€34.3m) for the UK's national health service (NHS) - a huge leap past his initial hopes of raising just £1,000 (€1,145).

His efforts saw him aim to walk a hundred laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday, which he completed in mid-April.

AP
Around 140,000 cards have been sent to Captain Tom for his birthdayAP

On Wednesday, the eve of his birthday, the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, visited him at home in Bedfordshire to inform him of his new appointment, and to present him with the Defence Medal - a medal given to those who served in the Second World War - and the Yorkshire Regiment Medal - his former regiment.

Captain Tom is also sitting at the top spot of the UK's music chart with his duet of Rodgers and Hammerstein/Gerry and the Pacemakers’ You’ll Never Walk Alone with singer Michael Ball.

He is the first centenarian in history to reach the top spot.

Meanwhile on Thursday, an RAF flypast is scheduled to mark Captain Tom's big day, while an estimated 140,000 birthday cards sent to the veteran have been laid in the sports hall of a local school.

He is also expected to receive a personalised card from Queen Elizabeth.