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The Queen's incredible gesture revealed as Captain Tom Moore celebrates 100th birthday

Congratulations, Colonel Tom Moore!

Gemma Strong

The Queen has bestowed a very special honour on national hero, Captain Tom Moore. Her Majesty has made Tom an honorary colonel on the day of his 100th birthday in recognition of his efforts that have raised nearly £30m for the NHS. In keeping with tradition, she also marked the occasion by sending a personalised card. Tom was informed of his promotion in a letter presented to him by Lt Col Thomas Miller, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment at his home. The Army said Chief of the General Staff, Sir Mark, who made the appointment, said Captain Tom's "mature wisdom, no-nonsense attitude and humour in adversity make him an inspirational role model to generations young and old".

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WATCH: Lorraine Kelly celebrates Tom Moore's 100th birthday

Touchingly, the centenarian has also been presented with another Defence Medal, replacing the one that he lost, in time for next week's VE Day celebrations. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he was delighted with the move, calling Capt Tom "simply inspirational". "He not only embodies the spirit of our incredible veteran community, but the resolve of this nation," he added.

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In honour of his special day, Tom will be treated to two flybys. At 8.20am, a wartime Spitfire and Hurricane passed over his home in Bedfordshire, while two helicopters will pass overhead this afternoon. Tom has also been inundated with birthday cards from members of the public. An estimated 150,000 cards have been received and are on show at Bedford School, where his grandson, Benjie Ingram-Moore, is a pupil.

Many of the envelopes on the cards have been stamped with a special Royal Mail postmark. All stamped post up until Friday was being marked with: "Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020."

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Tom's uplifting story has been truly extraordinary. The WWII veteran originally set out to raise £1,000 by walking the length of his 25m garden 100 times before he turned 100. His efforts touched the hearts of the nation, and by the day of his 100th birthday he has raised more than £30million for the NHS. He also recorded a cover of You'll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball, which went straight to No 1, making him the oldest artist to have a chart-topping record in the UK.

Colonel Tom is due to spend the majority of the day self-isolating with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her family at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. He confirmed that he would also speak to other family members via the internet.The war veteran said it was "extraordinary" to be turning 100, especially with "this many well-wishers".