Armed Forces pay respect to Dame Vera Lynn at Service of Thanksgiving

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Photographer: SAC Emma Wade - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

British Armed Forces personnel have attended a service of thanksgiving for the life and work of Dame Vera Lynn at Westminster Abbey this week.

The service was supported by 100 members of personnel from all three services: 30 from the Royal Navy, 40 from the British Army, and 30 from the RAF.

Sailors and marines of all ranks represented the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at the service.

Stars in attendance included Katherine Jenkins and Sir Tim Rice who also paid tribute to the Forces’ Sweetheart at the service. Operatic singer Jenkins, closed the service with an emotional rendition of wartime favourite We’ll Meet Again.

Photographer: SAC Emma Wade – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

The British Army personnel at the service represented the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment; The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery; No. 7 Company Coldstream Guards; and 20 Transport Squadron Royal Logistic Corps.

Royal Air Force representatives were invited from air stations across the UK, including RAF Valley, RAF Cranwell and RAF Brize Norton.

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.”

The contingent of Armed Forces personnel in attendance included personnel from HMS Collingwood and No. 7 Company Coldstream Guards, units which were represented at Dame Vera’s funeral.

Armed Forces personnel from each of the three services lined the steps of Westminster Abbey before the service.

A representative each from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force carried Dame Vera’s insignia into the service.

Senior officers of the UK Armed Forces who attended the service included:

Lieutenant General James Swift OBE, representing the Chief of the Defence Staff

Rear-Admiral Iain Lower, representing the First Sea Lord

Brigadier Christopher Davies OBE, representing the Chief of the General Staff

Air Commodore Richard Fogden, representing the Chief of the Air Staff

Defence Services Secretary Major General Eldon Millar MBE

Known as the forces’ sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn performed concerts to boost morale among troops during the Second World War, and was a lifelong supporter of the British Armed Forces.

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

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