Last Friday saw the launch of the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue Fund. Its purpose is to raise funds to erect a permanent memorial to Dame Vera, who passed away on 18th June 2020, aged 103.
The launch featured a performance of the song ‘Irreplaceable’ sung by Katie Ashby founding member of the D Day Darlings, with piano accompaniment by Dominic Ferris. All money raised from the downloads of the song will go to the statue fund.
Renowned sculptor, Paul Day, whose work includes the Battle of Britain Memorial on the Embankment, has agreed to design and create the memorial which is expected to cost £3m, which is the fundraising target. The memorial will be sited at Western Heights on the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, which were immortalised in one of Vera’s most famous songs.
This has also inspired Dover District Council’s recent bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for a Dame Vera Memorial Park, and outdoor performing arts space.
I was delighted to take part in the launch of the Dame Vera Memorial fund. This has been a wonderful project to be involved with and it feels absolutely right that Dover has been chosen as the site for this memorial to a truly remarkable, inspirational woman.
A number of locations have been considered. When we visited the Western Heights and thought about the amphitheatre and the performing arts bowl, it felt like it was exactly the right thing to celebrate Dame Vera’s life but to also have that open air venue where we can have concerts and picnics and really bring it to life. Where better to celebrate the life and achievements, the inspiration of a remarkable woman, than on the White Cliffs of Dover.
It has been wonderful to see the widespread support this proposal has already received in parliament, in entertainment, in our local community and across the country and I sincerely thank Sir David Amess MP and the organising committee, who have worked so hard in getting to today’s launch.
Last week’s launch marks the beginning of opportunities for live performance, for growth, for tourism and for bringing to life the excitement of everything Dame Vera represented in her life in entertainment, in the arts and in service to our country. I think Dame Vera Lynn is irreplaceable and the song absolutely captures that. It is absolutely right that she is an inspiration and she continues to be an inspiration and that’s what we’re hoping – to bring things forward with the vision of the performance bowl and the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Park.
I encourage everyone to support this project and very much look forward to Dame Vera’s home here at the White Cliffs of Dover.
Click here to donate to the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue Fund.
The Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue Fund website can be found here.
The promotional video can be found here.