Captain Sir Tom Moore gives rousing speech to 300 junior soldiers at Army Foundation College 

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Captain Sir Tom Moore has told junior soldiers passing out of their basic training that the ‘world is an oyster and yours to go and open’.

The 100-year-old Second World War veteran took the salute as almost 300 teenagers graduated from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Sir Tom was made honorary colonel of the college earlier this year and returned on Thursday to perform the official duties at the parade, which took place with a range of Covid-related safety precautions.

In his speech, he told the soldiers who have just completed 18 weeks of basic training: ‘You are starting a future of absolutely unlimited scope. The world is an oyster and yours to go and open.’

Speaking to reporters after the event Sir Tom reminisced over his own time as a soldier. He said he still have ‘comrades wherever he goes’.

Captain Sir Tom Moore took the salute as almost 300 teenagers graduated from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Captain Sir Tom Moore took the salute as almost 300 teenagers graduated from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Sir Tom was made honorary colonel of the college earlier this year

He returned on Thursday to perform the official duties at the parade, which took place with a range of Covid-related safety precautions

Sir Tom was made honorary colonel of the college earlier this year and returned on Thursday to perform the official duties at the parade, which took place with a range of Covid-related safety precautions

In his speech, he told the soldiers who have just completed 18 weeks of basic training: 'You are starting a future of absolutely unlimited scope. The world is an oyster and yours to go and open'

In his speech, he told the soldiers who have just completed 18 weeks of basic training: ‘You are starting a future of absolutely unlimited scope. The world is an oyster and yours to go and open’

As well as taking the salute, the fundraising veteran presented the Sir Tom Moore Trophy For Charitable Endeavour as well as awards for the best junior soldier and best shot

As well as taking the salute, the fundraising veteran presented the Sir Tom Moore Trophy For Charitable Endeavour as well as awards for the best junior soldier and best shot

He added: ‘For the rest of their lives they’ll find that they are all comrades together. That will go on and on, just as it has for me.

‘It’s a long time since I was in the forces but I have still got comrades wherever I go. It really is a magnificent unit to be in.’

He said that he did not have a passing-out parade when he first trained, saying he was just ‘thrown into it’ and left to ‘get on with it’.

As well as taking the salute, the fundraising veteran presented the Sir Tom Moore Trophy For Charitable Endeavour as well as awards for the best junior soldier and best shot.

He watched a flypast of two Apache helicopters. The parade was a scaled-down version of the passing-out event due to coronavirus, with each soldier allowed only two family guests

He watched a flypast of two Apache helicopters. The parade was a scaled-down version of the passing-out event due to coronavirus, with each soldier allowed only two family guests

It was the first since February with any family at all allowed to attend. The college's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Farebrother, said: 'When (Captain Sir Tom Moore) was made our honorary colonel, it was absolutely our priority to get him back to take the salute at one of these parades and I think the junior soldiers were absolutely thrilled'

It was the first since February with any family at all allowed to attend. The college’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Farebrother, said: ‘When (Captain Sir Tom Moore) was made our honorary colonel, it was absolutely our priority to get him back to take the salute at one of these parades and I think the junior soldiers were absolutely thrilled’

In the role of Chief Inspecting Officer, Sir Tom, inspects the junior soldiers at their Graduation Parade during a visit to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate

In the role of Chief Inspecting Officer, Sir Tom, inspects the junior soldiers at their Graduation Parade during a visit to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate

A graduation parade at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The World War II veteran has raised a phenomenal £40 million for the National Health Service's charitable wing. See PA story CHARITY Moore. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A graduation parade at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire The World War II veteran has raised a phenomenal £40 million for the National Health Service’s charitable wing

The veteran, who took part in the Battle of Ramree Island as part of the Burma campaign during the Second World War, had set out to raise £1,000 from his lockdown charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with national feeling and praise and donations flooded in

The veteran, who took part in the Battle of Ramree Island as part of the Burma campaign during the Second World War, had set out to raise £1,000 from his lockdown charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with national feeling and praise and donations flooded in

Sir Tom wore all his military medals as he greeted the junior soldiers during their passing out parade earlier today. He was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in July

Sir Tom wore all his military medals as he greeted the junior soldiers during their passing out parade earlier today. He was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in July

The graduation parade at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where Captain Sir Tom Moore, in the role of Chief Inspecting Officer, will inspect the junior soldiers

The graduation parade at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where Captain Sir Tom Moore, in the role of Chief Inspecting Officer, will inspect the junior soldiers

The soldiers stood to attention during the inspection. It followed 18-months of gruelling training to reach graduation

The soldiers stood to attention during the inspection. It followed 18-months of gruelling training to reach graduation

And he watched a flypast of two Apache helicopters.

The parade was a scaled-down version of the passing-out event due to coronavirus, with each soldier allowed only two family guests.

But it was the first since February with any family at all allowed to attend.

The college’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Farebrother, said: ‘When (Captain Sir Tom Moore) was made our honorary colonel, it was absolutely our priority to get him back to take the salute at one of these parades and I think the junior soldiers were absolutely thrilled.

‘You could see the parents and guardians as well – everyone wants to get a photo of him. He’s a proper celebrity and he’s a brilliant spokesman for the college as well.’

Drills were performed as part of the ceremony, with proud parents and family members looking on in the first event attended by guests since coronavirus lockdown was eased

Drills were performed as part of the ceremony, with proud parents and family members looking on in the first event attended by guests since coronavirus lockdown was eased

Both male and female junior soldiers took part in the parade to celebrate their achievements over the intense period of training before qualifying

Both male and female junior soldiers took part in the parade to celebrate their achievements over the intense period of training before qualifying

Some of the soldiers failed to keep a straight face as Sir Tom approached their group. It resulted in some heart-warming moments as their smiles gave away their excitement at his presence

Some of the soldiers failed to keep a straight face as Sir Tom approached their group. It resulted in some heart-warming moments as their smiles gave away their excitement at his presence

Lt Col Farebrother said the college had taken extensive steps to make the parade Covid-safe. He said that with 350 teenagers still in training at the base 'any virus coming in or out is unacceptable'

Lt Col Farebrother said the college had taken extensive steps to make the parade Covid-safe. He said that with 350 teenagers still in training at the base ‘any virus coming in or out is unacceptable’

A graduation parade at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where Captain Sir Tom Moore, in the role of Chief Inspecting Officer, inspected the junior soldiers

A graduation parade at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where Captain Sir Tom Moore, in the role of Chief Inspecting Officer, inspected the junior soldiers

Lt Col Farebrother said the college had taken extensive steps to make the parade Covid-safe.

He said that with 350 teenagers still in training at the base ‘any virus coming in or out is unacceptable’.

Sir Tom raised almost £33 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire before he turned 100 in April.

He was appointed honorary colonel for the college to mark his milestone birthday.

The veteran, who took part in the Battle of Ramree Island as part of the Burma campaign during the Second World War, had set out to raise £1,000 from his lockdown charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with national feeling and praise and donations flooded in.

He was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in July.

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