COUNTY NEWS: Village honours Dame Vera Lynn on 101st birthday

Forces' sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn celebrated turning 101 years old surrounded by her family and close friends.

Dame Vera Lynn's daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones with family and friends
Dame Vera Lynn's daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones with family and friends

A tree was planted in her honour on the day of her birthday, March 20, in Ditchling, West Sussex, which is where she lives with her family.

Her daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones told the Middy that her mother was ‘keeping well’ at the awe-inspiring age of 101.

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She said: “The village decided they wanted to do something special for her so a tree was planted in her honour.

Pupils from St Margaret's CE Primary School at the tree planting event

“Mummy loved trees. It was a lovely day. We were really fortunate with the weather.

“Pupils from St Margaret’s CE Primary School in Ditchling came along and sang songs. Members from the Royal British Legion also came along and family and friends.

“We also had a lovely tea party for her on the day of her birthday and she was surrounded by family and friends.

“The paperback version of her book Keep Smiling Through: My Wartime Story was released on her birthday, which is about her adventures in Burma. We are hoping that this does well.”

Members of the Royal British Legion

Dame Vera Lynn boosted the nation’s morale during the darkest days of World War Two.

She provided hope and reassurance for Allied troops and families.

She has also been honoured countless times in her lifetime for her services to entertainment and charity.

Her latest album Vera Lynn 100 was released in March last year.

The album was in celebration of her 100th birthday and awarded her the title of best-selling female artist of 2017.

Dozens came to celebrate her 100th birthday last year at a tea party at Danny House in Hurstpierpoint.

It was held by her children’s charity – the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, which helps children with cerebral palsy and other motor learning difficulties.