UK

Dame Vera Lynn: White Cliffs Of Dover Meadow Renamed In Singer's Honour

The stretch of land on the White Cliffs of Dover was renamed to mark the first anniversary of Dame Vera Lynn's death aged 103.

A meadow on the White Cliffs of Dover has been renamed in memory of iconic singer Dame Vera Lynn on the first anniversary of her death. 

Dame Vera, who was known as the 'Force's Sweetheart', entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the frontline during the Second World War.

She died aged 103 in June last year. 

Her famous lyrics: "There'll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover" mean the singer's legacy is forever associated with the picturesque Kent coastline.

Now dubbed the Dame Vera Lynn Down, the meadow was unveiled at a special ceremony on Thursday, with the footpath leading up to the area also receiving a name change to Dame Vera Lynn Way.

The renamed wheat field was part of a £1m fundraising campaign by the National Trust to buy 178 acres of arable land on the clifftops in 2017, something that Dame Vera supported.

The land is now in the process of being returned to its original grassland state and is already brimming with wildflowers and wildlife.

Virginia Lewis-Jones, Dame Vera's daughter, said her mother would have loved the natural space.

"My mother would be absolutely delighted to have the wildflower meadow named after her, especially as she proactively supported the National Trust's campaign to protect the landscape back in 2017," she said.

"She always loved having flowers around her and was a keen gardener for many decades.

"The renaming of the footpath to Dame Vera Lynn Way is a touching tribute as my mother always remarked the white cliffs were the last landmark seen as the boys went off to war and the first they saw when they returned home," she added.

A lighthouse on the cliffs was also lit on Thursday, shining out over the English Channel after being switched on by Dame Vera's daughter to honour her memory.

Dame Vera's family will also formally launch a fundraising appeal on Friday for a statue to commemorate the late singer, with a song released to help raise money.

Some of her most famous songs include 'The White Cliffs Of Dover', 'There'll Always Be An England', 'I'll Be Seeing You', 'Wishing' and 'If Only I Had Wings'.

Arguably her best-known song, 'We'll Meet Again', experienced a resurgence last year when the Queen referenced it in an address to the nation about the coronavirus lockdown.

Cover image: Dame Vera Lynn with a life-size cutout of herself as the 'Forces' Sweetheart' (Picture: PA).

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