“I hope she’s not very heavy-handed with the sword,” Tom Moore said of the upcoming ceremony

By Jason Duaine Hahn
May 20, 2020 05:16 PM
Advertisement
VICKIE FLORES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Captain Tom Moore, who completed dozens of laps in his backyard garden last month to raise nearly $40 million for the U.K.’s National Health Service during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, is now being bestowed the honor of knighthood.

The 100-year-old was nominated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who called Moore a "beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus," according to BBC. Moore's nomination was reportedly approved by Queen Elizabeth.

I hope she’s not very heavy-handed with the sword,” Moore said, according to Reuters. “By then I might be rather a poor old weak soul.”

Because Moore — a World War II veteran —was made an honorary colonel after his fundraising efforts, his official title will be Captain Sir Thomas Moore, under the protocol of the Ministry of Defence, the outlet reported.

It was in April that Moore captured the hearts of people around the world when he walked 100 laps around his garden with the aid of a walker just weeks before his 100th birthday.

"Colonel Tom's fantastic fundraising broke records, inspired the whole country and provided us all with a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus," Johnson said in a statement on Tuesday.

Captain Tom Moore with his card from Queen Elizabeth
EMMA SOHL/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

"On behalf of everyone who has been moved by his incredible story, I want to say a huge 'thank you.' He’s a true national treasure," Johnson added.

Born in Keighley, Yorkshire, Moore attended Keighley Grammar School before earning an apprenticeship as a civil engineer, a description on his JustGiving page reads. At the beginning of World War II, he was enlisted in the 8 DWR (145 RAC) of the British Army.

He was later selected for officer training in 1940 and went on to serve in India, Indonesia and England, the page notes.

After his wife Pamela died in 2006, Moore moved in with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, her husband and their two children in Bedfordshire, CNN reported.

"What an honor, and richly deserved; he is absolutely outstanding," Ingram-Moore told BBC TV on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

RELATED VIDEO: 99-Year-Old Man Raises $19 Million for Healthcare in the U.K. by Walking 100 Laps in His Garden

Moore also holds the Guinness World Record for the most money raised by an individual through a walk, the outlet added. But not only has Moore helped to raise money by walking, he has also done so by showing off his singing talents.

Moore recently starred in a cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with singer Michael Ball, which went viral on YouTube and has become a No. 1 single in the U.K. Proceeds from the chart-topper will benefit the NHS.

As of Wednesday, the U.K. has seen 248,293 cases and 35,704 deaths attributed to coronavirus, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.