Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter said the family is planning a “quiet” send-off, adding that her father has left a powerful message: “Tomorrow is a good day.”
Lucy Teixeira said she learned to share her father with everyone since he found fame and secured a place “in the hearts of the whole nation, in fact the world” ahead of his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown in 2020.
Sir Tom’s death on Tuesday after testing positive for Covid-19 prompted global reaction and charities have vowed his legacy will live on “for years and years”.
Speaking to ITV News, Ms Teixeira said: “It’s been a really big week; my father has passed away and it is really sad.
“But he leaves us with a really strong powerful message – tomorrow is a good day.
“Those words represent his whole life to me.
“He has shown resilience, courage, and I have seen him do that all his life.”
“Anything else after that, I couldn’t possibly comment on anything that might happen.
“I know that there are things being talked about, but my sister and I are focussing on planning the next stage and celebrating the end of his life.”
She said her father had a long life and a peaceful death, adding: “I’m really grateful for that and I know that my sister is. He had a good innings, as he would say, and he would also say something has to get you in the end.
“Has it been painful? The general public are really sad, and I understand that. They knew him for a very short time, but I know that his life has been a really good life and the last year it couldn’t have been more full and being knighted by the Queen and meeting all those amazing people, having a number one single – what’s not to like and understand.”
“At some point during the four weeks when all that money was being raised, he was just so busy. I had, and my sister had, been planning a 100th birthday party with him and a small amount of friends and of course that didn’t happen.
“But instead, I’ve learnt to share him with everybody, and it has been incredible how he has now become, he is now in the hearts of the whole nation, in fact the world,” she said.
“So, nothing surprises me. I remember talking to him last year and I asked him what had been happening and it turned out that the day before, David Beckham had visited.
“He took it all in his stride, I was really proud of him, really proud of my family.”
Sir Tom’s memory was honoured with a national clap led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday evening.
Nurses and doctors directly involved in the care of Sir Tom at Bedford Hospital also joined the national clap, while the veteran’s first regiment, The Yorkshire Regiment, tweeted a video calling him “a true inspiration”.
Earlier on Wednesday, the House of Commons fell silent in tribute to Sir Tom ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions, and Mr Johnson told MPs the centenarian had dedicated his life to serving others.
Sir Tom had been taken to hospital on Sunday after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for coronavirus last week.