That he accomplished this walking laps of his garden just a few weeks before his 100th birthday makes this already incredible achievement even more remarkable.
Of course, his record of public service did not begin in 2020, having risen to the rank of Captain in the Army while serving alongside thousands of others in India and Burma during the Second World War. We are honoured that the Arboretum is already home to memorials connected to his service in the Armed Forces, including the Yorkshire Regiment Memorial and Burma Star Memorial Garden.
Understandably, following his death on 2 February 2021, there have been widespread calls for a memorial to Captain Tom and we have received enquiries from many members of the public about how he could be remembered at the National Memorial Arboretum, the nation’s year-round centre of Remembrance.
Captain Tom was one of many heroes to have stepped forward in response to COVID-19 and we are keen to remember everyone who contributed as we faced a national crisis on a scale not seen since the Second World War. Last year we published a statement outlining our thoughts about how we could recognise those efforts in our grounds.
It is important to note that the National Memorial Arboretum does not commission or install any memorials. Any memorial to those who have served during the pandemic would not be progressed without a formal application, subject to approval by our Memorials and Landscapes Committee, in accordance with our policies, and funding for the memorial to be installed and maintained in perpetuity.