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Dame Vera Lynn memorial on White Cliffs of Dover to include tribute to Sir David Amess MP

A memorial to 'forces sweetheart' Dame Vera Lynn will now include a tribute to a Conservative MP killed in a suspected terror attack.

Sir David Amess, who died who after being stabbed several times in his Essex constituency yesterday, during a surgery to help constituents, helped launch the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Appeal for a statue in Dover to remember the singer.

Sir David Amess helped launch the appeal (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Sir David Amess helped launch the appeal (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The statue will be designed and created by sculpture Paul Day and will be situated on the White Cliffs of Dover, the subject of one of Dame Vera’s most famous songs.

Virginia Lewis-Jones, Dame Vera's daughter, told BBC Breakfast the MP "should also be remembered in the memorial" which he was such a great advocate for.

She said: "We've got to continue, not only for my mother but also for David for what he began and for what we will continue to do because it’s half his memorial as well."

It is expected the memorial will cost around £1.5million.

The fundraising appeal has raised almost £50,000, with donations coming in since Sir David's death. One donor wrote: "In memory of two Great Britons who have given us wonderful service and shown such patriotism and concern for the well-being of others. Rest in peace."

Dame Vera Lynn. Picture: SSAFA
Dame Vera Lynn. Picture: SSAFA

Sir David launched the appeal in June with an event at Maison Dieu in Dover, and was in regular contact with Ms Lewis-Jones about the progress of the fundraising.

Dame Vera Lynn, whose songs helped raise morale during the Second World War, died at the age of 103 in June 2020.

Yesterday, MPs from across Kent paid tribute to Sir David Amess. He was attacked at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-On-Sea at about midday on Friday.

Essex Police arrested a man on suspicion of murder.

Father-of-five Sir David received treatment at the scene but it was later confirmed that he has died from his injuries. He was 69.

Sir David Amess who died on Friday after being stabbed during a constituency surgery he was hosting
Sir David Amess who died on Friday after being stabbed during a constituency surgery he was hosting

Today the Home Secretary has said politicians will not be “cowed” following the fatal stabbing, which police believe may be linked to Islamist extremism.

Priti Patel visited the scene at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday morning alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to pay their respects to Sir David, less than 24 hours after he was killed at a constituency surgery.

Speaking at Southend Police Station, the Home Secretary said: “We will carry on, we live in an open society, a democracy. We cannot be cowed by any individual or any motivation… to stop us from functioning, to serve our elected democracy.”

A 25-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder is in custody at an Essex police station.

Official sources told the PA news agency the man is believed to be a British national with Somali heritage.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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