100th birthday, promoted from captain to colonel, that is Major, Tom

Most of us would be happy to have one train named after us as a birthday present. Imagine how centenarian Captain Tom Moore must be feeling with two naming ceremonies in his honour – so far.

The former army officer from Bedfordshire has become a national hero in the UK, and a celebrity around the world, after he raised tens of millions of pounds to support the UK’s National Health Service, during the current pandemic. In his honour, and on the occasion of Captain Moore’s one-hundredth birthday today (30 April) the country took part in a whole train-load of celebrations.

GBRf Captain Tom Moore named locomotive plaque (GBRf)

He was woken up by a morning fly-past of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fighter aircraft. Like himself, the Spitfire and Hurricane fighters were World War Two veterans.

More for Moore

Things got heavier, with GB Railfreight, thanking Captain Moore for his fundraising efforts for the NHS, by naming a freight locomotive in his honour. A 129-tonne, Class 66 freight locomotive, has been named ‘Captain Tom Moore’, with the added inscription ‘A true British inspiration’.

GBRf Captain Tom Moore named locomotive at depot (GBRf)

Captain Moore won the hearts and minds of the nation, raising over 29 million British Pound (33 million euro) for the NHS. GB Railfreight staff warmly applauded, ahead of Thursday evening’s national token of gratitude to the 1.5 million staff of the NHS and care workers around the UK. John Smith, managing director of GB Railfreight added his congratulations. “Happy birthday Captain Tom! On behalf of the whole team at GB Railfreight. We are in awe of your efforts to raise money for frontline NHS workers. Quite simply fantastic”.

Special delivery

Among Captain Moore’s 125,000 birthday cards, was a traditional telegram from The Queen, which congratulates all British citizens on reaching their centenary. Also in the mail, came an honorary commission from the British Army to the rank of Colonel for the career-long serviceman.

GWR also honoured Captain Tom Moore with a named train (GWR)

“After today it will be pulling crucial rail freight throughout the country helping to keep the NHS going, helping to get food on people’s tables and also helping to kick start the country’s economy as we go forward”, added GBRf’s Smith. “Thank you again Captain Tom and I’m very proud that your name will be carried on our locomotive”.

Captain Tom Moore on the occasion of his 100th birthday and promotion to Colonel Moore (wiki)

Colonel Moore did not give us a comment, but he was rather out of breath. Blowing out one hundred candles does take a lot of puff.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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