A Freedom of Information request was recently submitted asking for the total cost to the taxpayer of the RAF ‘Flypast’ organised for the birthday of Captain Tom Moore on the 30th April 2020.

Captain Tom, a former British Army, raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic. He began to walk laps of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday.

On the morning of his hundredth birthday the total raised by his walk passed £30 million. The efforts of a man who became, essentially, a national hero were celebrated on the morning of his birthday with a fly past from a Hawker Hurricane and a Spitfire of the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Well deserved and well earned.

The next month, Mr Boris Brooke-Frylington decided to submit a Freedom of Information request asking the following:

  1. The total costs to the taxpayer of the RAF ‘Flypast’ organised for the birthday of Captain Tom Moore on the 30th April 2020. Include the TOTAL cost, including (but not limited to) Staffing Cost (including Security), Fuel, and ‘Wear and Tear’ on the Planes involved;
  2. All internal staff communications on the matter above.

The response was as follows:

“A search for the information has now been completed within the Ministry of Defence, and I can confirm that no information in the format requested is held. The flypast for Captain Tom was resourced from the existing budget, the Annual Funded Task, and there was no additional costs to the taxpayer.  

Under Section 16 of the Act (Advice and Assistance) you may find it helpful to note that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight have an annual flying hours agreement which is used for training as well as displays and flypasts. The two aircraft that conducted the flypast would have been training regardless, for the VE day event that they participated in the following week.”

Cost of everything, value of nothing eh?

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Stuart Wallace

May be more to this than meets the eye – with defense cuts on the horizon post Covid I can see the BofB Flt for the chop, just like the Fleet Air Arm Memorial Flt which has had to become a self funding, stand alone charity.


Moving it out of the defense budget actually makes a lot of sense. Put it instead under the arts or culture budget.

Although like has been said, it generates some income, and even if it was loss making i can’t imagine it costs that much money compared to the overall defense budget.

Harry Bulpit

The arts and culture budget would make sense. Although I hope to never see it leave RAF hands being the only organisation of its type in the world.

Daniele Mandelli

With you Harry.


Even if it did have a small cost to the tax payer, it would be a miniscule drop in the ocean. And quite frankly, how many people have been inspired by his success! This absolutely deserved recognition and what better way than the battle of Britain memorial team. Some people only see the bottom line. It’s difficult to put a monetary value on inspiration and good deeds. So for those “bottom liners” they don’t see the value because theres no tangible £ to offset the cost. Well I say tough! People should be recognised for the good they do in… Read more »


Well, it didnt cost the 30m he raised to support the NHS, hence relieving the taxpayer in other places….

Absolutely childish and pathetic. Glad the RAF gave it short shrift.

Anyway, who is this person ? A Corbynite ???


Would have to be a Corbynite Geoff, wouldn’t he? No other possible explanation in your Daily Mail world!

Geoffrey Roach

anybody know who this guy is?

Mark F

Please tell me this is some kind of sick joke.


Utterly ridiculous the sad pathetic state of society today to even ask this, and by doing so ironically wasted the time and hence money of the government at a time of need.

Daniele Mandelli

My first thought was, is that really his real name?

My second, what’s the point in a question like that!!?


That was my first thought too. But look them up (David has posted the link below). They’ve submitted ~7 FOI requests about COVID-19, all of them, coupled with their attitude make me facedesk.

I’d be more than happy if the RAF gave Captain Tom Moore a flypast every day for the rest of his life. A humble gentleman, who has served his country in both war and during its health crisis. He has inspired millions, raised millions and did the nation proud. Bloke’s a hero. End of.

Daniele Mandelli

You’ve summed it up mate.


Well said.



Looks like he enjoys wasting peoples time.

What a total sad act.


Clearly has nothing better to do, bet he is a joy at dinner parties.


He’s the type who gives FOI requests a bad name …..

Steve T

Good find mate. Sums up what a time waster this guy is. Be intersting to find out exactly how much it costs to research replies to his never ending and trivial FOI requsts.

Supportive Bloke

It brought joy to people to do this for someone they respected.

Money and time well spent.

And as they say they had a flying hours allocation so why not do it for someone Joe Public want to thank?

Really what is not to like?


Really? REALLY??? Must not have anything useful to do – Oh Wait!


Aethelstan the curioAreus

Sounds like a contrived pseudonym from a solo idiot too me. In a population of 60m there’s going to be a few.


Totally agree. Probably sour grapes ‘cos they don’t fly past his house.


I may put in an FOI to find out how much FOIs cost the tax payer year. In all seriousness the costs of answering generally pointless freedom of information requests is huge. When you think each public sector organisation generally needs an FOI lead ( take health as an example you probably have 3-4 FOI mangers per county) and looking for Information for FOIs can easily suck 20 hours per request. FOI did not really ever open up government they way it was meant to, but it created a whole new type of manger that each organisation needs to have.… Read more »


He is probably one of them to justify his job and sad existence of chasing paperwork around.


Having worked in a department that had to provide data for one – we had to to drop everything else to comply with the time constraints – that included payroll work and recruiting, etc. At the time understaffed so had no option – extra hours needed to ensure people got paid though ….


How much does it cost the tax payer to investigate a pointless FOI question?

Martin Ramsdale

What sad person(s) asked for the cost of the fly by of the spitfire and hurricane for Colonel Tom on his 100th Birthday.
The guy raised money for charity, and at that twilight part in his life should be thanked for his effort too, the sad person(s) should hang his or her head in shame at his or her actions.
Well done to all who made it possible for the fly past to take place.
To the sad person(s) do some thing useful in life like grow a brain and improve your common sense too.

Fred Davage

I am a member of the battle of britain memorial flight & our membership fees go towards the upkeep of the planes etc. The flight does flybys for alot of fates, functions & parties if they are in the area. Its there to educate & celebrate the sacrifice & commitment of our heroes in the armed services which captain Tom was. Is this man a complete & utter soleless, ungrateful & unthankful person that he begrudges a 100yr old ex-service man a birthday treat & a thank you lets face it from the nation, for raising a amazing amount of… Read more »

Justin doughty

Who cares what it cost. It was a tribute to the guy who served our country and turned 100 and raised all that money for the NHS. Show him the respect he deserves. You always get these moaners moaning about something.

Barry Larking

Nutter. Next!


Considering all of the air shows will be cancelled this year this is probably the only time a Spitfire will even do a fly passed this year. All of the staff costs are fixed anyway so the only cost was fuel. Such nonsense.

James Riley

Saw a couple of pigs trailing behind Spitfire and Hurricane on Captain Tom’s flypast

Tiberius McLean

Mr Boris Brooke-Frylington is a serial FoI questioner asking stupid and inane questions!