On Thursday 10 December, Leeds Cares unveiled the highly anticipated bust of Captain Sir Tom Moore in the Bexley Wing at St James Hospital, Leeds thanks to an amazing donation from the founder of Monumental Icons, Garry McBride.
The bust of the Second World War veteran – complete with medals and the NHS fundraising hero’s trademark blazer badge – is now proudly displayed in the atrium of the Cancer Centre in Bexley Wing.
Garry decided to commission a bust of Captain Sir Thomas Moore was commissioned by Garry McBride so that in the future his achievements would be remembered by everyone.
Wikipedia has already documented his achievements in saying: ‘Thomas Moore was born 30 April 1920 and is popularly known as ‘Captain Tom’. A former British Army officer and centenarian, known for his achievements raising money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Moore serviced in India, the Burma campaign and Sumatra during the second world war, and later became an instructor in armoured warfare. After the war, he worked as managing director of a concrete company and was an avid motorcycle racer.
On 6 April 2020, at the age of 99, he began to walk laps of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. In the 24-day course of his fundraising he made many media appearances and became a popular household name.
On the morning of his hundredth birthday the total raised by his walk passed £30 million and by the time the campaign closed at the end of that day had increased to over £32.79 million. His knighthood was announced on 19 May and conferred the next day.
His investiture, which took place on 17 July 2020 at Windsor Castle, was conducted by Her Majesty The Queen’.
Following several months of discussions between Garry and the NHS Charities Together, it was agreed to offer the bust to the NHS hospital which presented the most compelling reason for being the custodian of a piece of art valued at £20,000.
As the closest major NHS hospital to Keighley, the town where Captain Tom was born, it was chosen as the ideal recipient to house the bronze bust.
Captain Sir Tom Moore, Second World War veteran said: “I’m truly humbled by the support I have received from far and wide and I’m delighted to hear the funds are going to such worthy initiatives.
The sculpture is wonderful and Leeds Teaching Hospitals is a great home for it to be placed.”
Captain Sir Tom, who raised over £33 million by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden, has directly impacted the work and support of so many NHS staff across the United Kingdom.
Thanks to his amazing fundraising efforts, Leeds Cares has funded a number of different initiatives including an employee, patient and volunteer support fund, a new staff room refurbishment to support frontline workers as well as funding bedside tv and radio for patients who were not able to receive visitors.
Garry McBride added: “I am absolutely honoured that this amazing memorial to Captain Sir Tom Moore now sits proudly at St James Hospital in Leeds. With Captain Sir Tom being from Keighley, we agreed there would be no better place for it.
Whilst Monumental Icons’ own sculptor, Andy Edwards, has been responsible for creating activist Frederick Douglass, boxer Muhammad Ali, footballer Pelé and artist/actor Paul Leroy Robeson, findings in a BBC study within the UK were far from conclusive.
We always advocate that each piece we create needs to have far more relevance than simply being a statue that commemorates a person or a moment in time.
The Mount Rushmore memorial park receives over three million visitors a year, spans 1200 acres and rises to 5,725 feet.