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Local artist’s portrait of Sir Tom Moore donated to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

02 July 2020

A portrait of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the war veteran who raised £32million for the NHS, was unveiled at our Chelsea and Westminster hospital site. Local Olney artist, Michelle Turner, created the portrait as part of an art class she runs and the response to the piece has been exceptional.

A portrait of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the war veteran who raised £32 million for the NHS, was unveiled at our Chelsea and Westminster Hospital site. Local Olney artist, Michelle Turner, created the portrait as part of an art class she runs and the response to the piece has been exceptional.

Captain Tom will become a monumental figure in our history books as he was unknowingly thrust into the limelight for his charitable escapades which initially started with the modest target of raising £1,000. 

The artist Michelle Turner captured his personality and brilliance in the portrait, and Dr Claire Alajooz, Sir Tom's GP, who was part of the team that inspired his NHS fundraising campaign, unveiled his portrait in the hospital and spoke in his honour, sharing kind words and encouragement with staff. They were delighted to see the portrait revealed at a prominent point near the main entrance to our Chelsea and Westminster Hospital site.

The artwork was created as part of her regular online art class as Michelle explains: “Captain Tom, as he was a few months ago, had completely captured the nation’s heart so I decided to focus my class on him. I posted my work in progress images as usual and when it was finished the response to my (now) Captain Sir Tom’s portrait was incredible.

“It was at this point I decided I needed to auction the painting with all proceeds going to the NHS.”

In an interesting twist, the portrait was purchased by a Mr John Slack, who lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, having left the UK 45 years ago. John said: “Like millions of others, we saw Sir Tom's fundraising efforts balloon out of all expectations. His iconic image was then brilliantly captured by Michelle. I immediately thought it was a great idea and made a bid.”

Once purchased, John decided that the painting should stay in the UK and asked Michelle recommend a location on where it could be displayed. So through talent, friendship and John in Jakarta, Sir Tom will adorn the walls of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for years to come.

Dominic Conlin, Hospital Director at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said: “The team here at Chelsea and Westminster were, like the rest of the country, inspired by the achievements and example of Sir Tom. He came to symbolise the support the country was giving to the NHS and to key workers everywhere. 

“We are immensely grateful to him, to Michelle the artist and to John Slack, who has gifted this wonderful portrait to the Trust. We are proud and grateful to be able to display the portrait at the hospital—it will be an honour for all of us to walk alongside him every day.”

The portrait will be a constant reminder of what he achieved for the NHS during an incredibly difficult time in UK history. We thank you Captain Tom for inspiring us all and for all those involved in gifting us.

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