But that budding career was cut short when, in September 1939, prime minister Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany. Moore was conscripted, aged 19, into the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, and eventually rose to the rank of captain. His late sister, Freda, joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in Lincolnshire, recording sightings of German planes.
In 1941, his regiment took a six-week journey to Bombay (now Mumbai), India, to protect the British Raj, but the most dangerous episode of Captain Tom’s war came in 1942, when he was posted to the Arakan area of southwest Burma (now Myanmar), to retrieve the British colony from the grip of the Japanese army. Years later, Moore says he still remembers the “whites of the eyes” of the opposing troops.
The Allied forces eventually recaptured Arakan, and Captain Tom was awarded the Burma Star – one of three medals that adorned his blazer during his fundraising mission earlier this month.
He said of the medals in a recent radio interview: “It shows that I was part of a very important army at the time, who were all battling for our country, which we’re all so proud of.”
In the above pictures from his time in the army, Captain Tom can be seen in the front row, far left, of the group shot; and front row, centre, riding a tank.