Captain Sir Tom Moore’s family plan to leave an empty chair on the first Christmas without him


Captain Sir Tom Moore’s family plan to leave an empty chair outside as they sit down for their first Christmas dinner without him.

During the pandemic, he won the hearts of nations by raising £33million for the NHS, performing 100 laps of his garden.

Unfortunately, he passed away on February 2, at the age of 100.

READ MORE: Giant Christmas pie dubbed ‘the best present in the North’ created by Greater Manchester’s top chef

In an exclusive interview with The Mirrorher ever-proud daughter fondly remembered her antics during past Christmases.

She chuckled, “Back then, he would put on his rubber boots and create an imprint, in instant fake snow, that ran down the hall, from the fireplace, and then up to our Christmas tree.

“We live off the joy – the hilarious stories of us living together. So now my kids are doing it. Even though it’s completely ridiculous!

It’s the first Christmas without Sir Tom, who lived with Hannah and her family for 13 years.

Hannah admitted that despite the pain of an empty chair at the table this year, her presence will be felt.

In the 10 months since his death, Hannah remembers almost daily the lives he saved with his message of hope and positivity.

Captain Sir Tom Moore, at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire

She now runs the Captain Tom Foundation and she “consults” him daily on key decisions.

“Dad directs me all the time,” Hannah said.

“I talk to him in my head, especially about the Foundation. I’m going to think, ‘Would you be okay with that, dad’?”

Sir Tom, who died after contracting pneumonia and coronavirus, was knighted by the Queen for his distinguished efforts at the Bedfordshire family home.

Hannah, 49, her husband Colin and their children Benji, 17, and Georgia, 13, miss her a lot but keep the fondest memories.

She continued, “Pure, unadulterated grief doesn’t go away. I always turn as if I was going to his room to catch up with him. I went there yesterday with Georgia. I said ‘Let’s go make grandpa’s room happy’ and we sat on his bed and watched his TV

“Benji still uses ‘Grandpa’s repair shed’. He does A-level design technology because of their relationship.

Last Christmas the spotlight was on Sir Tom and his family as they enjoyed a holiday in Barbados – a welcome break from the exertions of 2020.

There’s joy, emotion and a twinkling eye similar to Sir Tom’s, as Hannah recalled: “My fondest memory was the look on his face as Georgia came out of the sea. I thinks he just felt joy that he had lived to see her grow into a young woman. It was pure magic.

“This Christmas will be difficult…this year there are only four of us because my sister and her family are away.

“There is an empty chair, where he sat. But we will make up for this loss.

Sir Tom with his daughters Lucy Teixeira and Hannah Ingram-Moore

The children woke up Grandfather at Christmas. Hannah said: “Georgia would come back and say, ‘Well, he’s definitely still alive,’ like only kids can. When he finally got up, he’d walk in and say, ‘huh, the table’s all set. “Yes dad, you were sleeping,” I said. “No, I wasn’t sleeping!” he would answer – and the room would fill with laughter.

After almost two years of Covid, and now the new Omicron variant, what would Sir Tom say to people – and those who doubt vaccination?

Hannah told the Mirror: “He would say a lot, ‘Hard times may seem like a long time, but they always get better.’ then fought in a war at the age of 20. But we must look to the future and never give up hope that a better day is coming.

“Dad would say he understands people’s anxiety about the rapid deployment of the vaccine, but we have to look a little bit inside, reflect and treat it as a social responsibility.

“I think he would say ‘Do it for others’. But I don’t think we should force people to get vaccinated. We don’t want to force anyone’s hand, just think.

Next week, the Foundation will unveil a major overhaul of its future plans – tightly secret for now.

One of his missions was to help fight against loneliness. Hannah said: “I get arrested all the time. Many are veterans, who say that just knowing that our family supports them and recognizes their existence allows them to live with hope every day.

“Someone else said to me, ‘You know you save lives, don’t you? It never occurred to me and at that moment I was like, “Oh… thank you”. Such comments make his discussions with Sir Tom all the more poignant.

Hannah added: “I visited his grave in Yorkshire a few weeks ago and had a quick note. It’s good that he is buried alongside other family members that I don’t. have never known.

“I said to him, ‘I hope you’re all happy together. How do you feel about ‘Young Tom’ connecting the world? “And he really did, didn’t he?

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