DAME Vera Lynn, the legendary Armed Forces’ sweetheart, joined excited school pupils, staff, parents and carers to celebrate the 100th anniversary since Hellingly Community Primary School was founded.
The afternoon celebration was held at 2pm on Friday (June 20) when Dame Vera unveiled a new mosaic outside the school which was designed and made by the children.
She also cut a special birthday cake and the youngsters sang to her, including one of her famous songs, ‘Over the White Cliffs of Dover’.
Head teacher Kyra Ward: “This has been a very special year for us at Hellingly celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and of course our own 100th Birthday.
“This has been a unique experience for the children as they have had the chance to research each decade in depth - learning songs, exploring art and dressing up in the fashion for that time. They have looked at the school log books which hold amazing memories of what it was like to be a pupil in 1912.
“It has been extra special having Dame Vera Lynn here to share this with this. Roll on the next 100 years.”
A poignant moment came when Sgt Frank Dear, a great grandfather to one of the school pupils, greeted Dame Vera with a kiss.
He had first met the forces sweetheart years ago whilst on active service in Burma.
Art works were displayed at the event and an exhibition of photographs of the school, its pupils and teachers, throughout its history.