1921 Census reveals Captain Tom Moore as one-year-old baby living in Keighley, South Yorkshire

·Freelance Writer
·4 min read

Watch: Captain Sir Tom Moore's 1921 census entry is revealed

The lives of every man, woman and child living in England and Wales in 1921 have been revealed in detailed census returns – with one man in particular standing out.

The records, released after 100 years locked in the vaults, offer an unprecedented snapshot of life capturing the personal details of 38 million people on 19 June 1921.

Handwritten pages, now yellowed by the years, bring to life the private worlds of some of the 20th century’s most famous people including then prime minister David Lloyd George and King George V - and also that of a certain Thomas Moore, better known now as ‘Captain Tom’.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Captain Sir Tom became one of the symbols of the nation’s grit by raising more than £30m for the NHS by walking lengths of his garden.

Captain Sir Thomas Moore's name was featured in the 1921 census. (PA)
Captain Sir Thomas Moore's name was featured in the 1921 census. (PA)

But back in 1921, Capt Sir Tom would have unlikely been able to accomplish even a few steps of the feat that would seal him a place in the nation’s hearts.

Young master Moore, of Keighley in Yorkshire, was just a year and one month old when the census was completed.

He is listed as the son of Wilfred, a 36-year-old building contractor, and 34-year-old Isabel, whose occupation was listed as “household duties”.

The 1921 census features the Moore family – including one-year-old Thomas Moore. (PA)
The 1921 census features the Moore family – including one-year-old Thomas Moore. (PA)

The family, complete with young Thomas’s four-year-old sister Freda, lived in a six-bedroom property at the time the census was completed.

Captain Sir Tom was hailed for “lifting the spirits of an entire nation” following his death in February last year at the age of 100.

The charity fundraiser died in Bedford Hospital after testing positive for COVID – but his legacy had been well and truly sealed following his heroics during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking at his funeral, his grandson Benjie said: “If there is a lesson I have learned from living with you the last 13 years, it’s the power of positivity and kindness, I truly do not believe I would be the person I am today without your sound guidance.

“Our chats mid-afternoon that were only supposed to last a few minutes quickly turned into hour-long conversations, quickly delving into so many thought-provoking avenues. These are memories I will never forget and ones I am incredibly grateful to have.”

Thomas Moore's name on the 1921 census. (PA)
Thomas Moore's name on the 1921 census. (PA)

Capt Sir Tom's fundraising efforts raised more than £32m for the NHS, walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the lockdown in April.

The veteran set out to raise £1,000 from his charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.

He raised a total of £32.7m, with donations from 1.5 million supporters, before his fundraising page was closed at midnight following his 100th birthday on 30 April 2020.

British World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore, 99, poses with his walking frame doing a lap of his garden in the village of Marston Moretaine, 50 miles north of London, on April 16, 2020. - A 99-year-old British World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore on April 16 completed 100 laps of his garden in a fundraising challenge for healthcare staff that has
Captain Sir Tom Moore, 99, poses with his walking frame while doing a lap of his garden for his fundraiser during the first national lockdown. (Getty)
99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden - raising more than 12 million pounds for the NHS. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Captain Sir Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden. (Getty)

Capt Sir Tom started his challenge a little over three weeks earlier, and encouraged people to continue to donate to NHS Charities Together.

In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.

The 1921 census is available online, as well as in person at the National Archives in Kew, the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and the Manchester Central Library.

It is more detailed than any previously undertaken, having asked people about their place of work, employer and industry for the first time, meaning high street names such as Sainsbury’s, Rolls-Royce and Selfridges appear on its pages.

Watch: Captain Sir Tom Moore was 'a beacon of light'

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