View from the community: Add your support for statue of Dame Vera

PUBLISHED: 12:30 16 August 2020

A national memorial in Newham honouring Dame Vera Lynn gets Kevin Jenkins' support.

A national memorial in Newham honouring Dame Vera Lynn gets Kevin Jenkins' support.

Kevin Jenkins

I, like so many others, was saddened to learn of the passing of Dame Vera Lynn, but heartened to know that her legacy will (and must) live on.

Future generations can be inspired like the generations before them were, by everything Dame Vera gave to literally millions of citizens and learn about her pivotal role in the nation’s heritage, during one of the most difficult periods in modern times.

I was lucky enough to have the privilege of meeting and talking to Dame Vera on a number of occasions whilst I was chair of governors at Dame Vera’s old school – Brampton Primary.

Dame Vera was a wonderful, caring and inspirational woman – down to earth with an unassuming personality that put you at ease and generated awe-inspiring respect for her. She had a smile and time for everyone; no-one was cut short. She listened intently, making everyone feel special.

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Dame Vera had an amazing ability to recognise and seek out the shy and timid children, without embarrassment – you could see them grow in confidence as she spoke to them.

Throughout her life, she never stopped giving. What she meant to so many is perhaps best summed up in one of the numerous tributes that poured in on her passing, “Vera you were hope when hope was fading, you were our smile when smiling was a struggle, you touched hearts all over the world and you will forever be in ours”. Dame Vera was hugely proud of her East Ham roots and schooling at Brampton, which she told me had helped her greatly in shaping her future life.

I fully support the call for a national memorial statue honouring Dame Vera’s life.

I also feel it would be very appropriate for a statue here in Newham – Dame Vera’s birthplace, which she was so proud of.

A Newham statue would be a permanent and fitting tribute, inspiring future generations of Newhammers. If you support the idea of a statue in Newham for Dame Vera, I would be very pleased to hear from you, please let me know at and I will ask the council if they can progress such a tribute. Please add your support to remember one of Newham’s finest.

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