In his final months Captain Tom distilled his wisdom, collected over a century, into a book.
A year ago a shocked and bewildered Britain began to receive its first doses of the inspiring optimism of the World War II veteran and charity fundraiser Captain Tom Moore – something that gave the nation’s well-being, in those otherwise bleak weeks of the first lockdown, a boost every bit as valuable as anything AstraZeneca has come up with.
He captured the nation's heart, raised a miraculous £33m for NHS charities, had a No.1 hit single, enjoyed a spitfire fly past and was knighted by the Queen on behalf of a deeply grateful nation.
There was something magically endearing about this centenarian, who had managed to live for so long without having his belief in the decency of human beings or his faith in the future knocked out of him, assuring us that “tomorrow will be a good day”. Many of us were able to throw off lockdown dejection by the example of someone who had survived not just the Second World War but all the various setbacks and tragedies that befall anybody who lives a long life, and still had a smile on his face.
It is appropriate, then, that in the final months before his death in February, Captain Tom was distilling his thoughts into this last book, a paean to the power of positive thinking. It’s a sort of self-help manual on how to will yourself into the state of mind that will get you to your 100th birthday.
His book is out now, but if you just want to know Captain Tom's secrets to a long life? It's: patience, positivity, and porridge.
If you're buying a copy in the UK of Captain Tom's Life Lessons, we suggest supporting local independant booksellers by purchasing via uk.bookshop.org