A Second World War-era plane will soar over Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral service in honour of the veteran and NHS charity fundraiser.
The C-47 Dakota, part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, will perform the flypast.
Sir Tom’s 100th birthday celebrations last year included a Spitfire flypast and he was photographed punching the air as it went past.
Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment will carry his coffin to the crematorium on Saturday, with a firing party, a bugler and a ceremonial guard also forming part of the service.
Singer Michael Buble has also recorded a version of the song Smile to be played at the funeral.
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 lives on in us all.
“The armed forces are immensely proud to contribute to the celebration of his extraordinary life of service.”
Sir Tom, who raised more than £32 million for the NHS with a sponsored walk of his garden in the first lockdown, 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 Sir Tom was made an honorary colonel last August.
Six soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment will carry Sir Tom’s coffin into the crematorium.
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.
Sir Tom died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.
His 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 will 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 Ms 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 well-wishers, and that it was “wonderful” to see people writing in an online book of condolence.
Sir Tom 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”.
As well as Buble’s version of Smile, the charity single Sir Tom recorded with Michael Ball, You’ll Never Walk Alone, will also be played during the service, along with The White Cliffs Of Dover by Dame Vera Lynn and I Vow To Thee My Country by Alife Boe.
The family has urged that people support the NHS by staying at home.
Once Covid-19 restrictions permit, they will inter Sir Tom’s ashes in Yorkshire, with his parents and grandparents in the Moore family plot.
Published: 27/02/2021 by Radio NewsHub