Dear Confreres and Consoeurs,
Following a suggestion from one of our UK members, the Order has been pleased to award The Order’s Benefactor Medal in Gold to Capt. Tom Moore on behalf of Grand Chapter in recognition of his outstanding charitable work in raising funds for the National Health Service during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Recently promoted to Honorary Colonel (a rank he can use only within the Army Foundation College at Harrogate), Capt. Tom began to walk laps of his garden in aid of “NHS Charities Together” on 6 April 2020. He was then a spritely 99 years old and his goal was to raise £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. In his 24-day course of fundraising he made many media appearances and became a popular household name in the UK, generating much interest in his life story, earning a number of accolades and attracting over 1½ million individual donations. On the morning of his 100th birthday, the total raised by his walk passed £30 million, and by the time the campaign closed at the end of that day it had increased to over £32.8 million.
Explaining his motivation, Capt. Tom said: “All of them, from top to bottom, in the National Health Service, they deserve everything that we can possibly put in their place. They’re all so brave. Because every morning or every night they’re putting themselves into harm’s way, and I think you’ve got to give them full marks for that effort.”
As you will know, the Order’s Benefactor Medal can be awarded to individuals who have shown an outstanding commitment to charity and the welfare of others. It is rarely awarded to anyone outside the Order.
Our Commander of the UK and I wish to convey sincere thanks to Chevalier James Dickaty KJ for making this wonderful suggestion.
The award and certificate are on their way to Capt. Tom, and may not arrive for several days or weeks. I would ask that you keep this news within the Order until we are certain it has been received.
HE The Chevalier Stephen Lautens GCJ