Organiser of clap for Captain Tom will ‘make sure he is never forgotten’
The organiser of a clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore has said she “will make sure he is never forgotten”.
Hannah-Jayne King had initially set up a Facebook campaign to dedicate a round of applause to the veteran on Friday.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday that a round of applause dedicated to the NHS fundraiser would occur later that day at 6pm. Ms King says she will now observe both.
Ms King, from Cwmbran, south Wales, organised another clap for Sir Tom in April last year, which was observed by thousands across the world, and she runs a Facebook group called Clap for Colonel Tom which has more than 30,000 members.
Ms King has also raised money for the NHS with several tributes to Sir Tom, including the selling of memorial stickers – designed by Jessica Williams – and raffle tickets for a life-sized woodcarving of Sir Tom.
The sculpture was made last year by Ms King’s friend Simon Bogg, a woodcutter with Xtreme Chainsaw, who carved the likeness from an ash tree.
Ms King said she will join Wednesday’s clap and also applaud and release a helium balloon in Sir Tom’s memory on Friday evening.
“I think Sir Tom would want us to all celebrate his life however we would like to,” the 31-year-old told the PA news agency.
“Sir Tom has taught us to be patient and also to be kind to each other, so whichever way we do the clap it should be respectful and be done for the right reasons … hopefully Sir Tom and his family will know just how special he is.
“He has left a positive stamp on the whole world, his legacy will live on. I will make sure he is never forgotten.”
Ms King also plans to open a temporary bar in her garden for her household on the day of Tom’s funeral to toast him, which she plans to name after him as “The Colonel’s Arms”.
She said she thought the “absolute world” of Sir Tom and feels the UK is now a “nation in mourning” following his death this week.
“(His loss) has hit me very hard, I feel I have lost a family member but I think the whole world right now feels they have lost a family member in Sir Tom’s passing,” said Ms King.
“I do think the absolute world of him and think (there has been a) change in society’s outlook since his great achievement.”
Ms King said raising awareness and money for Sir Tom’s cause also helped her talk about and deal with the loss of a soldier friend who died while touring Afghanistan.
Another clap for Sir Tom was also organised for 7pm on Thursday but organisers said this had now been changed to Wednesday evening to match Mr Johnson’s announcement.
Insurance worker Donna Toft, from Doncaster, Yorkshire, helped to organise the clap using the Facebook group A Nations Clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore – which has almost 90,000 members.
“Due to his announcement and speaking with media we have chosen to change it all to tonight,” she told PA.
“I hope to continue the page as a memorial page.
“The message I would like to (share) is very much what Tom said … however much you’re thinking it’s a bad day. Get up, get out and walk off those demons. If Tom can do it, so can we.”Published: by Radio NewsHub