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Dame Vera Lynn funeral: Flypast and tributes to the Forces’ Sweetheart

Dame Vera Lynn will be honoured with a Spitfire flypast in her beloved Sussex village before her funeral.

The adored singer, who entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the front line during the Second World War, died aged 103 on June 18.

Crowds are expected to gather in the picturesque village of Ditchling on Friday, where she lived, to say goodbye to their “special local lady”.

Ahead of the day, a giant portrait of the Forces Sweetheart was beamed onto the White Cliffs of Dover to commemorate her life.

The cortege will leave her family home and pause at the crossroads in the centre of the village to allow residents to pay their respects.

At about midday, a Spitfire and a Hurricane – two of the most famous aircraft from the war – will soar over the village as a show of respect for Dame Vera.

After leaving Ditchling, the cortege will move on to the crematorium in Brighton where a tri-service route-lining party will wait outside the chapel, together with a military bearer party ready to receive the coffin.

A bugler from the Royal Marines will provide a musical tribute inside the chapel, and the Ministry of Defence will be represented by a senior officer who, along with the bugler and the small family group, will be the only people to attend the funeral service.

A full memorial service will be held at a later date.


Tributes the Forces’ Sweetheart

Virginia Lewis-Jones, Dame Vera’s daughter, said: “We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support over the past few weeks.

“My mother always appreciated receiving messages from all over the world, and Ditchling was always particularly special to her, that is why we know she would be touched that so many people want to pay their respects in the village tomorrow.

“It means so much to us to see my mother’s legacy living on.

“We are sure her music will endure forever but most importantly, we hope that people will continue to support those charities that she cared about so much.”

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