New street signs to honour Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th birthday
PUBLISHED: 10:32 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 March 2017
Three new street signs have been put up to celebrate the life of Dame Vera Lynn, Newham's most famous daughter, who turns 100 years old today.
The signs can be found at the singer and actress’ birthplace on Thackeray Road in East Ham, on Ladysmith Gardens and on her self-titled Close in Forest Gate.
Newham Council has erected the signs as part of a heritage scheme remembering people and places with historic links to the borough.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ken Clark, who leads the scheme, said: “We are delighted to be able to honour one of our most loved former residents in this way on her 100th birthday.”
Dame Vera gained huge popularity during the Second World War for hit records including We’ll Meet Again, There’ll Always be an England and The White Cliffs of Dover.
Among British Servicemen she became known as the ‘Forces’ sweetheart.’
“Dame Vera Lynn boosted the nation’s morale during the darkest days of the war,” Cllr Clark added.
Captain Lee Flitcroft, from G Company 7 Rifles, based in West Ham, who helped to unveil the signs, said: “When serving overseas, it is always important that we have something that connects us with home.
“That was what Dame Vera Lynn did during World War 2 when she lifted the spirit of millions. We wish her a very happy 100th birthday.”
Some of the people who live on Vera Lynn Close have fond memories of the singer.
Eileen Swallow, 77, said: “She was my favourite singer and has a beautiful voice. She was so brave in travelling over to Burma to sing for the troops.”
Ms Swallow was born during the Blitz, in Tidworth, Cheshire and moved to the Close around 16 years ago.
She added: “Happy Birthday Vera Lynn, I hope you have many more to come. We all love her and I hope she keeps smiling.”
Her neighbour Joan Leggett, 80, said: “Her music brings back memories of when I was young. We always used to hear her on the wireless singing to the chaps.
“I imagine there might not be enough money but I would like to see the council plant a garden of roses on our street in honour of her birthday.”
She added that her son, a city worker, is buying her Dame Vera’s CD for Mothers’ Day.