Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tim Rice and Katherine Jenkins are the latest public figures to back a campaign for a memorial to the late Dame Vera Lynn in Dover.
The Forces Sweetheart will forever be associated with the town because of her 1941 hit (There’ll be Bluebirds Over) the White Cliffs of Dover.
But since her death last year, there’s been a growing call for a permanent structure dedicated to the wartime singer on the cliffs.
The ex-Beatle is reported in Sussex paper The Argus today saying: “I am very happy to lend my support and my enthusiasm to the proposal that a statue should be created of the late, great Dame Vera Lynn and I think it would be wonderful if it could be somewhere near Dover, where one of her greatest songs was set – ‘(There’ll be bluebirds over) the White Cliffs of Dover’.
“But it doesn’t really matter where it is as long as it is in England because she was so much part of English life and now of English history.”
Welsh opera singer Katherin Jenkins collaborated with the Dame in 2014 producing a duet of We’ll Meet Again to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D Day Landings.
She is also backing the movement and said: “I think it would only be appropriate that we are reminded of all that she did.
“I know some people have been talking about potentially doing it at the White Cliffs of Dover, one of her most famous songs, and I think that is a lovely idea, but I think it is just important about recognising this incredible life.”
The campaign’s momentum has stepped up this week after we revealed MP David Amess is pushing for a memorial to the singer.
That came after Dover District Council agreed to re-name a section of the North Downs Way after her. The lo cost gesture involves a footpath from Athol Terrace up to the White Cliffs and is expected to set the district council back less than £2,000.
That scheme was put forward by Dover Independent councillor Graham Wanstall and it will be called Vera Lynn Way.
There is an existing statue to the singer in the Sustrans Dover Portrait Bench on the seafront.
Here she appears in a silhouetted structure along with the images of James Bond author Sir Ian Fleming and St Margaret’s-at-Cliff Olympic Torch bearer Jamie Clarke who is the mascot of the Dover play scheme for disabled children Pegasus.
But that was put in place years before her death last June.
Among the tributes to her was our own: Kentonline’s owner KM Media Group commissioned Medway based Kent Media Group to project the words of her iconic song on a section of the cliffs.
In her lifetime homage was paid to the Sussex resident. Three enormous and purpose-built structures of 15 to 30ft were due to be sited on the White Cliffs featuring bluebirds for her centenary four years ago this month. But the British weather scuppered the plans so they were erected a few days later and a Spitfir flew over the cliffs when the weather calmed.
Dover MP Natalie Elphicke and the district council are backing David Amess’ campaign which is also supported by the star’s daughter.
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