A memorial to “Forces’ Sweetheart” Dame Vera Lynn on the white cliffs of Dover has received Government backing.
The Culture Minister, Matt Warman, voiced his support for the idea in the House of Commons on Tuesday after Southend West Conservative MP and friend of Dame Vera’s family, Sir David Amess, led an adjournment debate calling for the project to go ahead.
Mr Warman said: “I look forward to the day when the memorial to the great Dame Vera Lynn… gazes down from the white cliffs of Dover. I wish (Sir David) and all those involved, the deepest best wishes in their efforts to raise funds for this commemoration of Dame Vera. It sounds like an ambitious and transformative proposal for the south coast, truly befitting Dame Vera.”
The white cliffs of Dover have been selected as the site for the memorial after it was immortalised in one of her most famous songs, and sculptor Paul Day is involved in the design.
Sir David said of the singer: “She gave so much of herself to the people of this country that I believe it is only fitting that the country should give something back to commemorate such a wonderful lady.”
A fundraising campaign will be launched on 18 June, the first anniversary of the singer’s death, with the help of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tim Rice and Katherine Jenkins.
Dame Vera, who died at the age of 103 last year, became known as the Forces’ Sweetheart during the Second World War for her radio broadcasts and concerts for troops stationed overseas.