Looking back on late Dame Vera Lynn’s whistle-stop tour of Cambs RAF museum

PUBLISHED: 11:52 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:54 19 June 2020

The late Dame Vera Lynn pictured at the RAF Witchford Display of Memorabilia on December 9 2007. Picture: Denis J Calvert

The late Dame Vera Lynn pictured at the RAF Witchford Display of Memorabilia on December 9 2007. Picture: Denis J Calvert


Following the news of the death of Dame Vera Lynn, we look back on a time she took a whistle-stop tour of an east Cambs RAF museum.

In December 2007, the Forces’ Sweetheart visited the RAF Witchford Display of Memorabilia after returning home from comparing a concert at Ely Cathedral.

The singer was best known for performing hits such as ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to troops on the front line.

The 103-year-old, 91 at the time, stayed for around 40 minutes and made enough time to chat to everybody while touring the exhibits.

At the time, one attendee described Dame Lynn as “so natural and very friendly” and said “we could not believe she is 91”.

The January 2008 newsletter from the 115 Squadron includes an entry of Dame Lynn’s visit, it reads: “Sweetheart of the Forces icon Dame Vera Lynn visited our Witchford museum in December.

“President Frank Leatherdale tells me how on December 9, in the company of the president of 75 Squadron Association, Jack Richards, and about 20 local RAFA and villagers met up with Dame Vera.

“She had compared a concert at Ely Cathedral on the previous evening involving famous names such as Petula Clarke and June Whitfield.

“Dame Vera stayed for about 40 minutes on her way home on Sunday morning.

“She had a chat to everybody and took a keen interest in our exhibits. ‘She is so natural and very friendly,’ says Frank, and ‘we could not believe she is 91.’”

Do you have any memories of Dame Vera Lynn in Cambridgeshire or the Fens? Perhaps some photographs? Email: harry.rutter@archant.co.uk

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