CHARITY champion Capt Sir Tom Moore said it was ‘truly a great honour’ as he was made honorary colonel of an Army training HQ yesterday.
The 100-year-old told cadets to take full advantage of the ‘outstanding’ Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, as he toured the facility.
The World War II veteran raised nearly £33million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden in Bedfordshire in March, and said of his promotion: ‘To go up so many ranks, so quickly, I’m thrilled.’
Capt Sir Tom, who fought in Burma, said the college was a ‘marvellous place’.
‘I’ve never seen so many opportunities for young people as there is here.’
After watching 16- and 17-year-olds take part in military drills, he told them: ‘When I was conscripted, I thought, “I’m going to be the best”. Quietly get on and do your best.’ The fundraiser was described as an ‘inspiration’ by junior soldier Daniel Barker, of Sheffield.
‘He gave us some advice for our future,’ the 17-year-old added.
Meanwhile, Capt Sir Tom hopes to soldier on for some time’ yet. ‘I need to exceed Dame Vera Lynn. I’m trying to get past her at 104,’ he told the Radio Times.
The forces’ sweetheart died in June, aged 103. He said she was ‘a charming lady’ when she visited his regiment in the Burmese jungle during the war.
Recalling being knighted at Windsor Castle last month, he said he had told the Queen ‘not to be too heavy with the sword’ as she honoured him.
And he said he was heartened to have inspired others to ‘walk, climb stairs and so on’ for charity during the pandemic. ‘It shows the spirit is there. I have always been a person to look to the future… tomorrow will get better,’ he added.