Captain Tom Moore feels "overwhelmed" after being awarded a knighthood for his fundraising efforts.
The 100-year-old war veteran – who recently raised more than £32 million for NHS charities by completing 100 laps of his garden – is set to receive the prestigious honour after a special nomination from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and he’s admitted the accolade has exceeded his own expectations.
He wrote on Twitter: "I am absolutely overwhelmed. Never for one moment could I have imagined I would be awarded with such a great honour.
"I’d like to thank Her Majesty The Queen, the Prime Minister and the Great British public. I will remain at your service…
"This started as something small and I’ve been overwhelmed by the gratitude and love from the British public and beyond.
"We must take this opportunity to recognise our frontline heroes of the National Health Service who put their lives at risk every day to keep us safe. (sic)"
In early April, the WWII officer set out to complete his mission before his 100th birthday on April 30 to help raise funds amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Though it began as "something small", Captain Tom has since earned a Pride of Britain Award and featured in a cover version of the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – which reached number one – with proceeds going to charity.
His birthday was then celebrated in a number of ways, including flypasts by the Royal Air Force and the British Army, and he was appointed as honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister – who was in intensive care in April after being diagnosed with coronavirus – has acknowledged that Captain Tom’s efforts "inspired the whole country" amid the pandemic.
He said: "On behalf of everyone who has been moved by his incredible story, I want to say a huge thank you. He’s a true national treasure."