Captain Sir Tom’s daughter was moved to tears today as she remembered her father as a ‘beacon of hope’ ahead of his funeral this weekend.
Sir Tom, 100, died in hospital on February 2 after contracting pneumonia and Covid. His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore became emotional talking about his death as she told Good Morning Britain they had ‘lost a fifth of their family’.
She went on: ‘It’s really hard to say it, it makes me feel very emotional just to say it. He was a part of our lives for over 13 years, but what an extraordinary man.’
Mrs Ingram-Moore went on to thank the public for the support they had given Sir Tom and his family over the past year. She added: ‘What a journey we’ve been on, and what a beacon of hope and light he became to the world.
‘We miss him terribly, but we know that his legacy lives on.’
This week Sir Tom’s family released an extract from his upcoming book, Captain Tom’s Life Lessons, which he had hoped to release after his 101st birthday. In the chapter, the Second World War veteran imagines his funeral.
He jokes about the service being attended by a ‘few more’ people than expected, and says someone will have to make extra cake and sandwiches for the guests.
Sir Tom also expressed his wish to have ‘I told you I was old’ written on his headstone, as he always laughed at comedian Spike Milligan having ‘I told you I was ill’ on his epitaph.
Mrs Ingram-Moore confirmed to GMB that her father really did want the inscription. She continued: ‘He had a sense of humour, that humour runs in the family.’
She added: ‘His wishes were really clear. He said he would like to be cremated and he would like his ashes to be taken up to the family grave in Yorkshire.
‘He was very prescriptive about the songs he wanted to be played and the fact he wanted us to eat Victoria sponge cake and sandwiches afterwards, and he was very pleased that he wouldn’t have to make them.’
In line with current Covid restrictions, Sir Tom’s funeral will only be attended by eight members of his immediate family – his two daughters Lucy Teixeira and Hannah Ingram-Moore, four grandchildren and sons-in-law.
The family issued a statement earlier this week asking members of the public who wished to pay their respects to Sir Tom to do so from their homes.
An online book of condolence has been set up instead, and people can plant a tree in his memory or donate to The Captain Tom Foundation.
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