A fortnight ago, Captain Tom Moore set himself a challenge: to complete 100 laps of his garden in time for his 100th birthday in a sponsored walk for the NHS in the United Kingdom.
Today, with the sun glinting off his Second World War campaign medals and his shoulders hunched with the effort, Captain Moore pushed his walking frame over the finishing line and permitted himself a brief nod to a job well done.
A small step for the 99-year-old, perhaps – but as he took it, his fundraising total rocketed past £12 million. By Thursday evening, it was approaching £12.4 million as a nation rallied behind his heroic efforts.
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Speaking after the walk at the 16th century house he shares with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her family in the village of Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire , he said the only thing going through his head as he neared the finishing line was counting the steps to ensure he kept going.
"It is unbelievable that people have been so kind," he said, displaying typical modesty about his extraordinary fundraising achievement.
For a man with the badge of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (famously known as The Iron Dukes) proudly stitched on to his blazer, Captain Moore is not the sort to complain about any aches and pains.
But having endured a hip replacement in his 90s, his daughter Hannah said his walk had been a marathon to complete. "It takes real grit to do what he has done," she said.
Already, there have been calls from across the country to appoint the old soldier a knight of the realm. On Thursday, a Downing Street spokesman said Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister would look at ways to recognise his "heroic efforts", heaping praise on him for having "captured the heart of the nation" and "embodied the spirit of the whole country".
Boris Johnson's fiancee, Carrie Symonds, took to Twitter to describe Captain Moore as a "total hero". Plenty of other famous names, including cricketer Ben Stokes, followed suit.
Arise, Sir Tom? Asked what he felt about possibly receiving a knighthood, he replied: "It would be marvellous to have such an honour, but I don't expect anything like that."
Despite the growing clamour, we should take him at his word. For a man whose entire life, his family say, has been directed by a sense of duty to Queen and country, this has never been about receiving personal accolades.
That said, he is hoping for a card from the Queen when he celebrates his 100th birthday on April 30. His daughter admits that, prior to the fundraising walk, she had been struggling to get one sent by Buckingham Palace due to an apparent lack of staff working during the lockdown.
Presumably now there should be no such trouble in ensuring one is posted out.
On Thursday a massed crowd of reporters packed into the garden and a detachment from 1st Battalion, and the Yorkshire Regiment lined the driveway to salute Captain Moore as he walked past. Noting the presence of the soldiers of his home county, he said he was glad to be "surrounded by the right sort of people".
It was all a far cry from when he set off alone to complete his first 10 laps on Sunday, April 5. The following day, Hannah, who runs a leadership training business and 12 years ago moved her father into the home she shares with her husband, Colin, and their children, Benjie, 16, and Georgia, 11, set up a JustGiving page.
Every day since, usually after lunch, Captain Moore has headed out to do his garden walk. If he has had an off day and not been able to finish, he has insisted on doing extra laps the following day to keep up to speed.
"We thought at best we might pick up some interest from the local press and raise something in the region of £1000," Hannah said. Instead, Captain Moore has raised the largest amount ever by an individual on the fundraising website, which itself donated £100,000 to his cause.
The money will go to NHS Charities Together (an umbrella organisation of NHS charities) which earlier this month launched a Covid-19 appeal to help support staff and patients during the outbreak.
Captain Moore said he had been moved to start fundraising by his own experience of being cared for by the NHS. A while ago he was treated for skin cancer, and a couple of years back spent time in hospital after falling in the kitchen, breaking his hip and receiving a nasty gash to the head. The nurses who looked after him remembered him as "a complete joy".
He also praised NHS staff for the way they cared for his wife Pamela (with whom he had two daughters), who died in 2006 after nearly 40 years of marriage.
He has described those working on the Covid-19 wards as "absolute heroes" and said on Thursday: "The people in the hospitals and all the support staff from top to bottom are the front line and the equivalent of what we were in the Second World War. And the country must unite behind them."
Thomas Moore was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire. His mother was a head teacher, his father worked in the building trade and he went to the local grammar school. From a young age, he was a whizz on a motorbike, roaring about the hills of Bronte country where he grew up.
In June 1940 he joined the 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, and was selected for officer training. Afterwards he was transferred to the 9th Battalion and posted to India, where he fought in the Arakan Campaign – hence the Burma Star among his clutch of medals.
Amid fierce fighting with the Japanese, he recalls being sent forwards on his motorbike to scout enemy lines. On occasion he drew so near he could "see the whites of the eyes of the enemy".
After the war he served as an instructor at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington before eventually moving into sales, which is where he met Pamela in the late 1960s.
Captain Moore is dismissive of the current enemy in our midst, saying he has no fear of coronavirus. During his fundraising walk, he adopted the mantra "tomorrow will be a good day", and on Thursday he urged the nation to remain positive.
"We must believe together we will be united and we will get through this," he said. "We will come out the other side."
As she watched her father reach his milestone, Hannah admitted she was overcome. "Looking at his fortitude of carrying on to finish the walk and doing endless interviews was just so impressive," she said.
And on Friday, even with his 100th lap completed, Captain Moore will roll up his shirtsleeves and head out to do another 10 laps of the garden. He will keep walking, in fact, as long as the money keeps rolling in. "As long as people are interested and want to donate, I will keep doing it," he said.