Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tim Rice and Katherine Jenkins have thrown their support behind a campaign for a memorial to Dame Vera Lynn on the White Cliffs of Dover.
The singer, who entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the front line during the Second World War, died in June 2020 at the age of 103.
Her family and MP Sir David Amess have launched the campaign with the backing of Dover MP Natalie Elphicke and Dover Council.
Fundraising will begin on June 18 – the one-year anniversary of Dame Vera’s death.
Stars including former Beatle Sir Paul have contributed to a video calling for a permanent tribute to be erected.
In a letter read by Dame Vera’s daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones, Sir Paul says: “Dear Ginny. I think it is a great idea to have a statue put up on the White Cliffs of Dover so your lovely mum, Vera Lynn, can welcome people forever. I wish you the best of luck with the project and I hope it all works out. Cheers, Paul.”
In a video message, Sir Tim says there is “no earthly reason” why the UK should not raise enough money to fund the project.
The lyricist and author, known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, adds: “I am very happy to lend my support and my enthusiasm to the proposal that a statue should be created of the late, great Dame Vera Lynn and I think it would be wonderful if it could be somewhere near Dover, where one of her greatest songs was set – ‘There’ll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover’.
“But it doesn’t really matter where it is as long as it is in England because she was so much part of English life and now of English history.”
Jenkins, who duetted with Dame Vera a number of times, describes the late star as “a beacon of hope”.
“I think it would only be appropriate that we are reminded of all that she did,” she adds.
“I know some people have been talking about potentially doing it at the White Cliffs of Dover, one of her most famous songs, and I think that is a lovely idea, but I think it is just important about recognising this incredible life.”
The video also features black and white archive footage of Dame Vera performing for troops as well as testimonies from actor Anthony Andrews, Major Sir Michael Parker, the producer of large-scale national celebrations, and others involved in the campaign.
The memorial will be paid for by donations and public subscription.
The National Trust site in the North Downs is immortalised in one of her most famous songs, The White Cliffs Of Dover.
Dame Vera was also loved for hits including There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings.
Her best-known song, We’ll Meet Again, experienced a resurgence last year when the Queen referenced it in an address to the nation about the coronavirus lockdown.
Details of how to contribute will be announced on June 18.