With flowers and lights, Britain has paid tribute to Captain Tom Moore, 100, who touched the hearts of millions by offering a simple message of hope and self-sacrifice during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Moore, who raised Stg 38.9 million ($A70 million) for the National Health Service by walking laps of his garden, died on Tuesday in Bedford Hospital after suffering COVID-19 and pneumonia.
He had been fighting cancer for five years.
Outside his home in the village of Marston Moretaine, 80km north of London, children laid flowers.
His picture was shown on Piccadilly Circus in central London while landmarks including the London Eye, Wembley Stadium and the Blackpool Tower shone lights of honour.
Condolences poured in from Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the White House while soccer players, school children and his family shed tears for a man who millions consider a lockdown hero.
Amid the death and gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic, war veteran Moore struck a chord with millions: his message to the world was that the sun would shine again.
“For all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away,” Moore, dressed in a blazer and tie and displaying his war medals, said after completing his walk in April.
Raised in Yorkshire, northern England, Moore served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War Two.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at a ceremony at Windsor Castle in the northern summer.
“Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year,” Buckingham Palace said.
“Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them.”
Health Minister Matt Hancock said the country would mark his memory.
“We should find a way to make sure that we mark the memory of Captain Tom and thank him for the contribution that he made for the NHS (health service),” Hancock told BBC television.
“He touched the heart of the nation and we should remember that.”