A flypast boasting a Second World War-era plane will soar over Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral on Saturday in tribute to the veteran.
Sir Tom came to international attention last year when he raised almost £33 million for the NHS walking 100 lengths of his garden just before his 100th birthday. In July, he was knighted by the Queen.
The veteran died of Covid-19 on 2 February after contracting coronavirus and pneumonia.
Sir Tom served with the Duke of Wellington regiment during the Second World War with his division later merging to become the Yorkshire regiment.
Last year, the fundraiser celebrated his 100th birthday with a flypast including a spitfire – Sir Tom was captured punching the air as it flew overhead.
To mark his funeral on Saturday, a C-47 Dakota, part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, will perform another flypast.
Soldiers from his Yorkshire regiment will carry his coffin while a firing party will perform three rounds in unison. A bugler will play The Last Post and a ceremonial guard from the Arm Foundation in Harrogate will be present, of which Sir Tom was also made an honorary colonel.
Eight members of Sir Tom’s family will attend the private funeral, including his two daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, four grandchildren and his sons-in-law.
His daughter, Ms Teixeira, 52, said the service will be “quite spectacular”, adding that they “will honour him the best way we possibly can.”
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: "In national emergencies ordinary people do extraordinary things and inspire us all to pull together to overcome adversity.”
Ms Teixeira is urging people to pay tribute to her father’s memory by donating to his foundation or to charities planting trees in his name. She hopes the initiative, Trees For Tom, will create a wood around his Yorkshire home and help with reforestation in parts of India, where he served during the Second World War.
She said:"My sister and I have been creating the funeral that my father wanted,” adding that “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."
Sir Tom asked that Frank Sinatra’s My Way be played at his funeral and that the epitaph should read “I told you I was old,” in reference to the comedian Spike Milligan’s famous line “I told you I was ill.”
The veteran spent the last months of his life writing a book which he planned to publish just before his 101st birthday. In a section released, he said he would “like to watch my own funeral from a distance” and laugh at “everyone making a lot of fuss over me.”