Here are the timings and route for Dame Vera Lynn's funeral flypast in Sussex today

By Alex Nelson
Friday, 10th July 2020, 11:06 am
Updated Friday, 10th July 2020, 11:07 am
A Hawker Hurricane and a Supermarine Spitfire will make a flypast of Dame Vera Lynn's funeral procession (Photo: KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP via Getty Images)
A Hawker Hurricane and a Supermarine Spitfire will make a flypast of Dame Vera Lynn's funeral procession (Photo: KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP via Getty Images)

Today (10 July) will see the funeral of Dame Vera Lynn, three weeks after the wartime singer passed away at the age of 103.

Today’s ceremony will be a private occasion in Lynn’s home county of Sussex – a larger, more public observance is being planned for a later date, when coronavirus restrictions allow.

A cortege bearing the Dame’s body will leave her home at 11:40am, and is expected to arrive in the village of Ditchling at midday.

It will pause to allow residents to pay their respects, and will be joined by a Battle of Britain flypast on the 80th anniversary of the famous military campaign, one of the defining moments of the Second World War.

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    The processions will then continue on to Brighton, where the funeral will be held.

    Here's everything you need to know:

    Where can I see the flypast?

    The Battle of Britain flypast – consisting of a vintage Spitfire and Hurricane – is expected to fly past the funeral procession as it is ‘paused’ in the village of Ditchling at midday.

    The aircraft will take off from their base of RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, before making their way south to Sussex.

    The exact route the planes will take to get there is not yet known, and is likely dependent on weather factors like wind speed and direction.

    But the planes have been spotted in the skies over East Anglia on their way to similar flypasts in the south of England in recent months.

    It is not known how many passes of the funeral procession the flying team will make.

    Who was Vera Lynn?

    Dame Vera Lynn was a London-born singer who is best known for performing for the troops during the Second World War.

    She performed in countries including Egypt, India and Burma, with her most famous songs including ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ and ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

    As well as travelling across the world to sing, the 103-year-old also hosted a radio show which sent messages to British troops who were serving overseas.

    Known as the ‘Forces Sweetheart’, Dame Vera found fame after her song We’ll Meet Again became an anthem of resilience for those who were separated from their loved ones during the war.

    The famous wartime song was also echoed by the Queen when she delivered a special televised address to the nation in April, acknowledging the hardship people across the country were facing during lockdown.

    Dame Vera died on Thursday 18 June 2020.

    In a statement, her family said: "The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain's best-loved entertainers at the age of 103.

    "Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family."