The original Forces Sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn, has surprised veterans travelling on board The Royal British Legion ship with a specially recorded message to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
The voice message was played to the delight of 250 Normandy veterans as they set off on Sunday 2 June for a week long voyage to commemorate all those who served and sacrificed 75 years ago.
Although the 102 year old singer was unable to join veterans in person, Dame Vera was determined to be part of the commemorations and show her support to all Normandy veterans marking the date, both in Northern France and the UK.
In the message recorded for The Royal British Legion, Dame Vera Lynn said:
“Hello boys, Vera Lynn here. I wish you and your carers a memorable trip to Normandy. It will be nostalgic and sure to bring back lots of memories. Rest assured we will never forget all you did for us. I’m sending you all my best wishes for the trip.”
The Royal British Legion has released the message to ensure all Normandy veterans, however they are marking the date, can hear Dame Vera’s warm wishes.
The Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director of Commemorative Events, Bob Gamble OBE said:
‘The Legion is thrilled and honoured Dame Vera Lynn has shared this touching message with veterans commemorating D-Day 75. Dame Vera remains a huge icon and is renowned for her fondness of and dedication to the military. Second War World veterans hold her dear for the comfort she brought them at the time, and being able to share her message with them ahead of this week’s commemorations was a truly special moment.’
In addition to taking 250 veterans on the fully funded voyage back to Normandy, the Legion is hosting two Remembrance services in Bayeux and one at the National Memorial Arboretum on 6 June, and working in partnership the HM Government to deliver national commemorations in Portsmouth on 5 June.