Campaign unveiled for permanent memorial to Sussex singer Dame Vera Lynn

A campaign for a permanent memorial to Sussex singer Dame Vera Lynn has been unveiled today (Friday, June 18), exactly one year after the Forces’ Sweetheart passed away.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 5:02 pm

Sir David Amess MP launched the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue appeal at The Coastguard in Dover, along with Dame Vera’s family, with the goal of raising money for the new memorial on the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

The cliffs were immortalised in one of Dame Vera’s most famous songs.

“A memorial to this wonderful lady is long overdue and what better place to have it but on the White Cliffs of Dover,” said Sir David.

Dame Vera Lynn. Picture by Steve Robards

“Dame Vera was an inspiration to every generation and her charities will make sure that her legacy endures,” he added.

Backed by Dover MP Natalie Elphicke and Dover District Council, the Memorial Statue aims to be a permanent reminder to future generations of Dame Vera’s career, as well as her contributions to the Armed Forces and many charities at home and abroad.

A new song, ‘Irreplaceable’, has been released, performed by singer Katie Ashby and composer Dominic Ferris, and written by New Zealand musician Vicki Lee.

All proceeds from downloads of the song will go towards the Memorial Statue.

The Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue has been established to raise funds for the sculpture and the charity is one of several to have Dame Vera’s name attached.

The others are the Dame Vera Lynn Trust and the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity.

Renowned sculptor Paul Day has been chosen to create the memorial.

He has more than 30 years of experience creating bespoke public monuments and is known for high-relief sculpture, which combines three-dimensional sculpture and modelled perspective.

Paul’s previous clients include The Royal Family and The Ministry of Defence, and he has created highly recognisable works like the Memorial to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother at The Mall and the Battle of Britain Monument in Westminster. “Dame Vera lived an extraordinary life and yet kept her feet very firmly on the ground,” said Paul, adding that he was thrilled to work on the project.

“She was unaffected by her success and remained deeply attached to the simple things in life that make it a rich experience for all of us,” he added.

“We are truly delighted that Paul will be capturing my mother’s essence in a statue that will stand the test of time,” said Virginia Lewis-Jones, daughter of Dame Vera and trustee of the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue.

“The past year has shown that she has an enduring legacy and we’re committed to keeping the memories alive for future generations.”

“There’s so much we can learn from the past, and statues play a great role in preserving that history,” she said.

People can make a donation to the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue here.