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Captain Tom is sent 125,000 cards from around the world ahead of 100th birthday

The cards are being displayed at Bedford School where his grandson is a student.

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Captain Tom Moore’s grandson Benjie, in the Great Hall of Bedford School (Joe Giddens/PA)

Captain Tom Moore’s grandson Benjie, in the Great Hall of Bedford School (Joe Giddens/PA)

Captain Tom Moore’s grandson Benjie, in the Great Hall of Bedford School (Joe Giddens/PA)

A school in Bedfordshire has been flooded with thousands of cards from well wishers across the globe for Captain Tom Moore’s upcoming 100th birthday.

The Second World War veteran, widely known as Captain Tom, has raised more than £29 million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden in Bedfordshire.

He has been praised around the world for his fundraising campaign and many have thanked him in the form of a birthday card.

Ahead of his landmark birthday on Thursday, more than 125,000 cards have been sent to Bedford School where his grandson, Benjie Ingram-Moore, attends.

Cards were also sent from famous names including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Dame Kelly Holmes and England football captain Harry Kane.

Benjie turned to his school for help when he learned that the post office was being swamped with cards.

The 16-year-old said: “The volume of cards that have been sent to granddad is just astonishing. So many of the cards are truly heartfelt with thousands from young children who have taken the time to use their artistic talent and write a personal message.

“Another £60,000 has been generously been donated via his birthday cards.

“It means a lot to granddad as well as us as a family. We are hugely proud of how the nation has taken granddad to its heart. Words can’t express how much I idolise him.”

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Captain Tom Moore’s grandson Benjie among the birthday cards (Joe Giddens/PA)

Captain Tom Moore’s grandson Benjie among the birthday cards (Joe Giddens/PA)

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Captain Tom Moore’s grandson Benjie among the birthday cards (Joe Giddens/PA)

Captain Tom was originally planning to mark his centenary with a family party but the celebrations have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Benjie said: “The swathes of birthday cards and messages from celebrities including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Dame Kelly Holmes and England captain Harry Kane have left granddad speechless and more than made up for his cancelled birthday plans.

“He is truly humbled by the response to his walking in the garden.”

A total of 140 members of school staff, parents and pupils past and present spent 1,750 hours opening each card and creating a display in Bedford School’s Great Hall.

Hugh Maltby, director of Bedford School Association, said: “Benjie has been such an inspiration in his grandfather’s campaign that we wanted to offer a way of giving back.

“When the family told us about all the cards being received at their local post office, I didn’t hesitate to offer school’s support to help open and display the cards.”

Headmaster James Hodgson said: “We are so very proud to see how far Benjie has come with this – the story of his grandfather, Captain Tom Moore, has captured the nation and is a real affirmation of people’s kindness.

“We are honoured to offer our Great Hall at Bedford School with our team of volunteers to act as both a makeshift sorting office and a place to display the incredible number of 100th birthday cards.”

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on the nation to show the same optimism and energy as Captain Tom in dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking in Downing Street after battling Covid-19, Mr Johnson praised the fundraiser.

“If we, as a country, can show the same spirit of optimism and energy shown by Captain Tom Moore, who turns 100 this week, if we can show the same spirit of unity and determination as we have all shown in the past six weeks, then I have absolutely no doubt that we will beat it together,” he said.

“We will come through this all the faster and the United Kingdom will emerge stronger than ever before.”

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Birthday cards for Captain Tom Moore at Bedford School (Joe Giddens/PA)

Birthday cards for Captain Tom Moore at Bedford School (Joe Giddens/PA)

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Birthday cards for Captain Tom Moore at Bedford School (Joe Giddens/PA)

In another tribute to Captain Tom, all mail sent from Monday will be stamped with a special postmark in his honour.

The Royal Mail postmark, which will be applied to all stamped post between April 26 and May 1, reads: “Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020.”

The fundraiser’s original target of £1,000 was broken in around 24 hours and he extended his challenge to 200 laps after he completed the first 100 two weeks ahead of schedule.

PA