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Tom Moore completes the 100th length of his back garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, England, on April 16.
Tom Moore completes the 100th length of his back garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, England, on April 16. Vickie Flores/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

British war veteran Tom Moore, who turns 100 today, has been promoted to honorary colonel in recognition of his efforts to raise money for the UK’s health service.

“His mature wisdom, no-nonsense attitude and humor in adversity make him an inspirational role model to generations young and old,” said Gen. Mark Carleton-Smith, chief of the general staff of the British Army.

Moore has been appointed as the first honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College Harrogate, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said.

The centenarian began a JustGiving fundraiser on April 8, initially hoping to raise £1,000 ($1,245) for NHS Charities Together, which raises funds for UK hospitals and patients. The World War II veteran completed the challenge after walking 10 laps of his garden each day, aided by a walking frame, and raised more than £29 million ($36.1 million).

He then became the oldest person to reach number 1 on the UK’s music chart, by debuting a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” last week.

More than 125,000 birthday cards have been sent to Moore, many from young children across the UK.

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