Dame Vera Lynn's life celebrated at Westminster Abbey service

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Dame Vera passed away aged 103 on 18 June 2020

The life and work of Dame Vera Lynn has been remembered at a thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey.

Stars including Katherine Jenkins and Sir Tim Rice were among those who paid tribute to the Forces' Sweetheart at the service in London.

The wartime singer and entertainer, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, died in June 2020 aged 103.

Dame Vera, whose career spanned more than 90 years, was best known for entertaining troops on the front line.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Forces' Sweetheart was best known for performing hit songs to troops to boost morale during wartime

The hour-long service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who said: "We remember a talent and charm that sustained a breathtakingly long career - the only centenarian to have an album in the top 10."

Among the performers were singer Katie Ashby and the D-Day Darlings, who performed Dame Vera's classic The White Cliffs of Dover, and operatic singer Jenkins, who closed the service with an emotional rendition of wartime favourite We'll Meet Again.

Lyricist Sir Tim Rice gave a bible reading and actor Anthony Andrews delivered a tribute to his friend.

Other famous faces in attendance included TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh, broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, actress Bonnie Langford and TV presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin.

Titchmarsh spoke of how he was "blown away by the strength of her voice" while Dimbleby said the singer had "mattered so much" to soldiers going through dark days of war.

Dame Vera discovered her talent at an early age and by the time she was 11, had left school for a career as a dancer and singer in a touring music hall revue.

She captured the hearts of the nation during the Second World War with her uplifting performances and recordings.

She was made a dame in 1975 and a companion of honour in 2016.

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