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Westminster Abbey will host a thanksgiving service celebrating the life and work of the late Dame Vera Lynn.

The singer, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away in June 2020 aged 103.

The hour-long service will be held at 12:00 GMT on 21 March to honour the Force’s Sweetheart’s 90 year career as a singer and entertainer.

Dame Vera sold more than a million records by the age of 22.

Among her most loved songs were The White Cliffs Of Dover, There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings.

The service will be led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who said: “Vera Lynn gave voice to the hopes and fears of a generation that lived through the trauma of war.

“The Abbey is proud to honour a woman who honoured others and to remember someone who was herself faithful to precious memories.”.

Dame Vera discovered her talent for singing at an early age and performed in local clubs when she was seven. By the time she was 11, she had abandoned school for a full-time career as a dancer and singer in a touring music hall revue.

The singer, who became a Dame in 1975, was best known for performing hits to troops on the front line in countries including India and Egypt.

Her successful career continued long after the war, with her cover of the song My Son, My Son reaching number one on the UK single charts in 1954.

In the weeks before her death she became the oldest artist to get a top 40 album in the UK, beating her own record when her greatest hits album re-entered the charts at number 30.

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