The first ever Freedom of the City of London ceremony to be conducted ‘virtually’ will take place on Tuesday (12 May) at 10.30am for Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old Second World War veteran who raised nearly £33 million for the NHS.
The ceremony, which is usually held at Guildhall for invited guests only, will be conducted via Microsoft Teams and streamed on the City of London Corporation’s YouTube channel.
Captain Moore has been granted the Freedom of the City of London by Special Nomination in recognition of his outstanding charitable work.
Launched on 6 April, his initiative, ‘Tom’s 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS’, involved completing 100 laps of his garden to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together, which supports staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.
The target was reached on 10 April and after gaining widespread media attention, the amount on Captain Moore’s JustGiving fundraising page climbed dramatically every day, closing at £32,796,405 on his birthday on 30 April.
Captain Tom Moore said: “I am deeply honoured to be granted the Freedom of the City of London. I remain humbled by the love and gratitude that I have received from the British public, and this honour is something that I will truly value for the rest of my life.”
One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients, who were also required to join a Livery company, to carry out their trade.
William Russell, The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor, said: “My colleagues and I were touched greatly by Captain Moore’s inspirational efforts to support the NHS and impressed by his remarkable achievement, his commitment to this cause, and the sheer generosity of his supporters.
“Captain Moore is a credit to this country, and we are absolutely delighted that he accepted our invitation to receive the Freedom of the City of London.”