A second world war-era plane will fly over Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral service in honour of the war veteran, who raised almost £39m for NHS charities during the first coronavirus lockdown.
The C-47 Dakota, part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, will perform the flypast.
Moore, who died this month at the age of 100 after testing positive for coronavirus, will have his coffin carried by six soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment. A firing party of 14 will each fire three rounds in unison, and a bugler will sound The Last Post at the end of the private service.
Six representatives from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, where Sir Tom was made an honorary colonel, will then form a ceremonial guard.
The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said: “In national emergencies, ordinary people do extraordinary things and inspire us all to pull together to overcome adversity.
“Few will have heard of Sir Tom before this crisis but his contribution and example now live on in us all. The armed forces are immensely proud to contribute to the celebration of his extraordinary life of service.”
Moore was admitted to Bedford hospital on 31 January after having been treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for Covid-19 the week before.
His fundraising efforts during the first national lockdown in April raised £38.9m for NHS charities after his pledge to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday captured the imagination of people around the world.
Moore 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 Moore was made an honorary colonel last August.
Moore’s funeral will be attended by eight members of his immediate family – his two daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, four grandchildren and his sons-in-law.
His daughter Lucy Teixeira, 52, said the service would be “quite spectacular”, adding: “There’s just going to be the eight of us under full Covid restrictions, we will honour him the best way we possibly can.”
There are plans to plant trees around the world in his honour, with Teixeira hoping that the Trees for Tom initiative will result in a wood in his home county of Yorkshire and the reforestation of part of India, where he served during the second world war.
“My sister and I have been creating the funeral that my father wanted,” she said. “He was very clear in his wishes and if he could have been put into a cardboard box, he would have done that, rather than chop down a tree.”
She said she had received many messages from wellwishers, and that it was wonderful to see people writing in an online book of condolence.
Moore asked that My Way by Frank Sinatra be played at his funeral and that his epitaph reads “I told you I was old”, in reference to comedian Spike Milligan’s famous epitaph “I told you I was ill”.
The family has urged that people support the NHS by staying at home.
Once Covid-19 restrictions permit, they will inter his ashes in Yorkshire, with his parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.