Hundreds have gathered to pay their respects to Dame Vera Lynn in her beloved village of Ditchling in East Sussex ahead of her private funeral this afternoon.
The World War Two entertainer, who died on June 18 at the age of 103, was also honoured with a flypast, which saw two Spitfire’s soar over the applauding crowd below.
The cortege bearing Dame Vera’s coffin, which was draped in a Union flag, arrived in the village centre as a bell tolled out in a procession led by soldiers.
People lined the streets and representatives from the Royal British Legion stood in the road with flags as they waited to honour the singer.
Virginia Lewis-Jones, Dame Vera’s daughter, said: “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.”
Following the flypast, the cortege made its way out of the village as it continued its route to the crematorium in Brighton, with shouts of “hip hip hooray” from the crowd.
It was followed by a spontaneous rendition of We’ll Meet Again, one of Dame Vera’s most well-known songs.
Ahead of the day, a giant portrait of the Forces Sweetheart was beamed onto the White Cliffs of Dover to commemorate her life.
A full memorial service will be held at a later date.
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