Battle of Britain fly-past marks Vera Lynn funeral

Dame Vera Lynn has been honoured with a fly-past in her beloved East Sussex village ahead of her funeral on Friday. Two second World War fighter planes soared over Ditchling to remember the late singer.

The aircraft made three passes over the quiet village before leaving to applause from the crowd.

The singer, who entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the front line during the second World War, died aged 103 on June 18th.

Spitfire and Hurricane planes fly over the funeral procession of Vera Lynn. Photograph: Vickie Flores/EPA

Spitfire and Hurricane planes fly over the funeral procession of Vera Lynn. Photograph: Vickie Flores/EPA

As a cortege bearing Lynn’s coffin – which was draped in a Union flag – made its way out of the village where she lived for 60 years, there were shouts of “hip hip hooray” from the crowd in her honour.

It was followed by a spontaneous rendition of We’ll Meet Again, one of the songs Lynn was well-known for.

The cortege arrived in the centre of Ditchling as a bell tolled.

Applause from the crowd greeted the convoy, which was led by soldiers.

Hundreds of people gathered at the crossroads in Ditchling ahead of the arrival of the funeral cortege.

Representatives from the Royal British Legion stood in the road with flags as they waited to honour Lynn.

A small police presence is on hand to ensure proceedings go smoothly.

Ahead of the day, a giant portrait of the “Forces’ Sweetheart” was beamed onto the white cliffs of Dover to commemorate her life.

Virginia Lewis-Jones, Lynn’s daughter, said: “We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support over the past few weeks.

“My mother always appreciated receiving messages from all over the world, and Ditchling was always particularly special to her, that is why we know she would be touched that so many people want to pay their respects.”

Second World War re-enactor Steve George (59) has come to Ditchling to pay tribute.

He told the PA news agency how he met Lynn at a re-enactment in a marquee surrounded by veterans.

Mr George said: “We had a group photograph with Dame Vera, we were all gathered round her dressed as the different generals.

“She was wonderful, absolutely wonderful, she had time for everybody... It’s the end of an era. But she will never be forgotten.”– PA

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