Guard of honour as Captain Sir Tom Moore’s ashes laid to rest

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s ashes have been buried in his family grave alongside his parents and grandparents.

The Second World War veteran and NHS charity fundraiser’s close relatives walked through a guard of honour made up of school children and organisations close to his heart to his final resting place in Morton Cemetery, Riddlesden, West Yorkshire, on Monday.

Around 50 representatives of the NHS, Royal British Legion, Scouts, Guides and many other groups lined the path of the cemetery, on the outskirts of Keighley.

Captain Tom
Captain Sir Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire (Joe Giddens/PA)

Sir Tom’s two daughters – Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira – two of his grandchildren and his sons-in-law chatted and shared stories with those on the honour guard as they walked from their cars to the grave, which is just a few yards from Riddlesden’s war memorial.

They were then greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson, and Keighley Town Chaplain, the Reverend Dr Jonathan Pritchard, who conducted a short service at the graveside as Sir Tom’s ashes were placed in the ground.

The family has carried out Sir Tom’s wishes and have had the words “I told you I was old” engraved on the 7ft high family memorial stone above the grave, under a silhouette image of the 100-year-old former Army officer.

Captain Sir Tom Moore funeral
The family were joined by armed forces and charity representatives (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Pritchard told the PA news agency: “This is the most immense privilege to be here serving in this way in this last living act for Captain Sir Tom Moore, here in Keighley.

“He was an extraordinary man who’s made a real significant difference in the life of our nation.

“He’s lifted our spirits and raised our vision about what is possible.

“So, I’m just very, very moved to be able to be here right at the very end and doing this.”

He said the family told him that Sir Tom would have wanted just a simple service, and Monday’s ceremony lasted around 15 minutes.

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The arrival of the family at the cemetery was greeted with a small window of sunshine on a day of mixed West Yorkshire weather.

Mrs Ingram-Moore was accompanied by her husband Colin and their children Benjie and Georgia. Mrs Teixeira was joined by her husband, Tom.

The family looked relaxed as they laughed and smiled with the community groups’ representatives and the children from schools across the Keighley area.

As well as the emergency services, more than a dozen organisations were represented at the cemetery including Keighley Healthy Living, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Keighley Cougars rugby club and the Bangladeshi Community Association.

The honour guard arrived at the cemetery before the family on two vintage double-decker buses.

Buses that carried members of the guard of honour at Morton Cemetery, Riddlesden, Keighley, following the interment of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s ashes
Buses that carried members of the guard of honour at Morton Cemetery, Riddlesden, Keighley (Danny Lawson/PA)

Sir Tom was born in Keighley in 1920 and brought up in the area. Many of those who gathered on Monday recalled his visit to the town last year at the height of his new-found fame.

The fundraiser served with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment during the Second World War. The regiment later merged with two others from Yorkshire, becoming the Yorkshire Regiment, and Sir Tom was made an honorary colonel last August.

He died aged 100 at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.

Monday’s short ceremony marked the end of a remarkable 15-month journey for the Second World War veteran.

The event was distinctly low-key in contrast to Sir Tom’s funeral earlier this year which, despite his close family being the only mourners due to Covid restrictions, featured a fly-past and the military honour of a firing party.

Captain Sir Tom Moore funeral
Relatives of Captain Sir Tom Moore (from left) Colin Ingram-Moore (son in law), Georgia Ingram-Moore (granddaughter), Hannah Ingram-Moore (daughter), Benjie Ingram-Moore (grandson), Lucy Teixeira (daughter) and Tom Teixeira (son in law), walk through a guard of honour ahead of burying Sir Tom’s ashes at his family’s grave in Morton Cemetery, Riddlesden (Danny Lawson/PA)

Sir Tom captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first coronavirus lockdown when he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday, raising more than £32 million for the NHS.

In acknowledgement of his fundraising, Sir Tom was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.

His 100th birthday celebrations last year included a Spitfire flypast and he was photographed punching the air as it went past.

Sir Tom also had a number one hit with with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir with their recording of You’ll Never Walk Alone.