Hannah Ingram Moore Captain Tom

From book deals to spa demolition: Inside the winding saga of Captain Tom’s family drama

Someone turn this into a Netflix docuseries right now

Little distils Britishness down so perfectly as the time we collectively lost the plot over a 99-year-old man during the COVID-19 pandemic. Born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, Captain Tom Moore served in India and Myanmar during World War Two. A hero who’d lived his life in relative obscurity— until he walked laps around his garden for the NHS.

Glory, a GQ cover, and £38million worth of donations followed. Tom was knighted by the Queen in a coronavirus regulated open-air personal ceremony. It was only following his death – seven months after his hundredth birthday – his legacy began to become interwoven with the actions of his own family. So, as Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore is ordered to pull down the Captain Tom Foundation spa, here’s a comprehensive look back at Sir Tom’s long and winding family drama – from absolutely unhinged merchandise to the council-ordered demolition:

Captain Tom Moore Hannah Ingram

Credit: Vickie Flores/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The long walk, international fame, and the Captain Tom mini skirt

Captain Tom was about to turn 100 when the Covid lockdown scuppered his birthday plans. He’d recently fallen while unloading the dishwasher and was using a walking frame to take rehabilitative loops of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. As the NHS struggled under the pressure of the pandemic, he decided to complete 100 laps of his patio before his 100th birthday to raise money for NHS Charities Together. His initial goal was £1,000. His final fundraising total was £38million.

“I’m surrounded by the right sort of people so I’m feeling fine,” Captain Tom said as he completed his laps. “When you think of who it is all for – all those brave and super doctors and nurses we have got – I think they deserve every penny,” he told the BBC afterwards. A week later, Captain Tom became the oldest person to ever get a number one in the UK singles chart after his duet of You’ll Never Walk alone with Michael Ball sold 82,000 units. It was the fastest selling single of 2020. All proceeds went to the NHS.

When his birthday rolled round on 30 April, Captain Tom was celebrated with an RAF flypast. The Queen and the prime minister sent him well wishes and promoted him to the position of honorary colonel of the British Army. GQ put him on their cover. Clothes brands printed mini skirts with his face on. We were a nation possessed.

Captain Tom Hannah Ingram Moore

Credit: Redbubble

A dream holiday, meeting Cliff Richard, and the start of the Captain Tom Foundation

After Captain Tom’s victorious Spring, him and his family decided to set up the Captain Tom Foundation charity in September 2020, which supported causes close to his heart: combatting loneliness, supporting bereavement, championing education and equality, and overseas aid.

By December, they were ready for a break and took Tom on what was described as his “dream holiday” to Barbados where world collided and he spent and afternoon hanging out with Cliff Richard and Russ Abbot. British Airways paid for his flights. Shortly afterwards, Captain Tom got pneumonia and subsequently Covid, which he died from.

A month after that, Captain Tom’s legacy lived on when Wayne and Coleen Rooney sent their son Klay dressed as the national hero to World Book Day – complete with tinfoil-wrapped walking frame and a fake moustache. And the chaos didn’t end there.

Investigations into the Captain Tom Foundation begin due to management costs

Almost exactly a year after Captain Tom’s death, the Charity Commission announced it was reviewing the accounts of the Captain Tom Foundation. They found £160,000 was given to charities in the Foundation’s first year. But more than £162,000 had been paid in management costs over the same 12 months.

The investigation was launched after the charity paid more than £50,000 to companies run by Captain Tom’s youngest daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin, who were both trustees of the charity. Hannah resigned six weeks after the investigation.

Hannah Ingram Moore Captain Tom

Credit: en McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Donations are ceased and Hannah’s at-home spa is set for demolition 

After the Charity Commission investigation began, the Captain Tom Foundation stopped accepting donations. But the drama didn’t end there. Hannah and her husband had plans approved to construct a Captain Tom Foundation Building in the garden of their £1.2milllion Bedfordshire home for “charitable objectives.” But what actually appeared was a much larger structure than was authorised – complete with a kitchen and spa pool. It was ordered to be demolished. But Hannah has continuously campaigned against this.

Captain Tom Hannah Ingram Moore

Credit: Google Maps

One neighbour, retired credit manager Jilly Bozdogan, told Sky News the building was a “monstrosity,” adding her 99-year-old mother, who she lives with, “sits there and cries” at the sight of the sight of it.

£800,000 worth of book profits, a car-crash Piers Morgan interview, and the end of the Foundation

Captain Tom Hannah Ingram Moore

Credit: TalkTV

Before the dust had settled of the spa extravaganza, Hannah appeared on TalkTV and admitted to Piers Morgan she’d kept the profits from the three books Captain Tom had written, estimated to be £800,000 by The Sun. “These were my father’s books, and it was honestly such a joy for him to write them, but they were his books,” she said.

Hannah claimed Sir Tom had “specifically” said that the profits should go to her business Club Nook and there was no suggestion any money from the sales would go to charity. The same week, Hannah’s lawyer told reporters the Captain Tom Foundation was “it seems, is to be closed down following an investigation by the Charity Commission”.

Captain Tom’s legacy, the mastermind behind his brand and accusations of ‘silencing’

And so, as his Foundation ceases, we come back to the question of how exactly Tom Moore became national hero Captain Tom. Without the attention of the country’s media, he would have simply been a 99-year-old man walking in circles on his own patch of grass.

Last month, a PR guru called Daisy Souster claimed she was enlisted by the Moore family to write up a press release and send it out to her media contacts. She says she set up Captain Tom’s JustGiving page and managed his Twitter account, only to be suddenly cut out and silenced by his family.

“I was told by Hannah Ingram-Moore that I had no right to talk about my work/involvement with the PR,” she revealed on LinkedIn. “The change in attitude towards me caused me untold distress as I started to see my work accreditation taken away from me.”

Hannah is yet to comment on these allegations. And, to be fair, she’s got bigger problems at hand as today her appeal against the Captain Tom Foundation sauna and spa’s demolition failed. The council want the £200,000 back garden complex gone. Bulldozer pending.