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Dame Vera Lynn's centenary marked with Bluebirds over White Cliffs of Dover

By Beth Robson

During the Second World War she inspired our troops and stole the hearts of a generation, and today, the centenary of Dame Vera Lynn was to be marked with a unique and fitting tribute.

But unfortunately, the great British weather stepped in and scuppered some of the events planned to honour the forces' sweetheart.

Three enormous and purpose-built structures of 15 to 30ft were due to be sited on the White Cliffs featuring bluebirds, as a homage to the phrase made famous in her world-renowned 1940s hit.

 

 

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Dame Vera Lynn.

Dame Vera Lynn.

But wet and windy conditions have prevented organisers from erecting it.

A pair of original wartime Spitfires were also due to perform a rare flyover and display above the cliffs, but this has also been cancelled.

War veterans, WWII re-enactors, 1940s singers and supporters of Dame Vera Lynn’s Children’s Charity all turned out to mark the national treasure’s milestone birthday.

Earlier, Dame Vera Lynn said: "I can’t believe everyone is going to so much trouble to wish me a happy birthday – I feel incredibly humbled by it all."

The spectacle comes just two days after a star-studded event at the London Palladium, held in celebration of Dame Vera’s birthday, from which proceeds went to her children’s charity.

The event was held at the National Trust’s South Foreland Lighthouse.

Instead of presents and flowers, the forces' sweetheart asked for donations to the Dame Vera Lynn’s Children’s Charity.

Donations can be made online here.

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