A tribute to Dame Vera Lynn on the White Cliffs of Dover is one step closer to becoming a reality.
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 last year.
She is known for her version of The White Cliffs of Dover, which includes the chorus: “There’ll be bluebirds over, the White Cliffs of Dover, tomorrow, just you wait and see”
The song was composed in 1941 by Walter Kent to lyrics by Nat Burton but was made famous in Vera Lynn’s 1942 version.
Over the past 11 months, support has been pledged to build a tribute to the Forces’ Sweetheart at Dover, including from Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tim Rice and Katherine Jenkins.
And the campaign has now received government support.
Conservative Sir David Amess (Southend West) led an adjournment debate in the House of Commons calling for the project to go ahead.
He received support from party colleagues and the DUP’s Jim Shannon (Strangford) in a session last night which marked the latest parliamentary push to promote the memorial.
Culture minister Matt Warman told MPs he “looks forward” to the day when a statue is in place to commemorate the singer.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Warman said it is “not normal practice” for central government to fund new memorials but he highlighted the work of organisations in delivering such monuments.
He added he could think of “few more fitting recipients” of support from such organisations than the project championed by Sir David.
The minister also noted Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is “as much as a fan” as Sir David of “the great Dame Vera” before concluding: “I wish (Sir David) and all those involved the deepest, best wishes in their efforts to raise funds for this commemoration to Dame Vera.
“It sounds like an ambitious and transformative proposal for the south coast, truly befitting Dame Vera.
“I look forward to that moment when her statue looks down from the White Cliffs.”
The memorial will be paid for by donations and public subscription.
Fundraising for the project is expected to begin on June 18 – the anniversary of her death.
Dame Vera was also loved for hits including There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings.
Her best-known song, We’ll Meet Again, experienced a resurgence last year when the Queen referenced it in an address to the nation about the coronavirus lockdown.
Last year, a projection of her lyrics were beamed onto the cliff face at Dover in tribute following here death.
Read more: All the latest news from Dover