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Captain Tom Moore: Centenarian who inspired a nation with his COVID fundraising laid to rest

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Soldiers from the British Army's Yorkshire Regiment carry the coffin of Captain Tom Moore during his funeral service at Bedford Crematorium.
Soldiers from the British Army's Yorkshire Regiment carry the coffin of Captain Tom Moore during his funeral service at Bedford Crematorium.   -   Copyright  Joe Giddens/AFP
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A World War II-era plane flew over the funeral service of Captain Tom Moore on Saturday in honour of the veteran who single-handedly raised millions of pounds for Britain's health workers by walking laps in his backyard.

Soldiers performed ceremonial duties at the service for the 100-year-old, whose charity walk inspired the nation and raised almost £33 million (€38 million). Captain Tom, as he became known, died February 2 in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

Just eight members of the veteran's immediate family attended Saturday's private service, but soldiers carried his coffin to a crematorium and formed a ceremonial guard. The family has urged well-wishers to stay at home as the country remains in lockdown.

A version of the song "Smile," recorded by singer Michael Bublé, was to be played at the funeral.

Joe Giddens/AP
A view of the Order of Service for the funeral of Captain Tom Moore at Bedford Crematorium, in Bedford, England, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.Joe Giddens/AP
Joe Giddens/AP
Members of the Armed Forces at the funeral of Captain Tom Moore at Bedford Crematorium, in Bedford, England, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.Joe Giddens/AP

Moore, who served in India, Burma (now known as Myanmar) and Sumatra during the Second World War, set out to raise a modest £1,000 (€1,150) for Britain’s National Health Service by walking 100 laps of his backyard by his 100th birthday.

But his quest went viral, catching the imagination of millions stuck at home during the first wave of the pandemic.

His positive attitude — "Please always remember, tomorrow will be a good day" became his trademark phrase — inspired the nation at a time of crisis, and UK prime minister Boris Johnson described him as a "hero in the truest sense of the word".

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in July in a socially-distanced ceremony at the monarch's residence at Windsor Castle.