Two World War Two fighter planes flew over Dame Vera Lynn’s funeral procession as fans gathered to say goodbye to the Forces’ Sweetheart.
The singer died aged 103 in June and a private funeral service was being held in Sussex today (July 10).
Fans lined the streets in the village of Ditchling, where Dame Vera lived, as a cortege bearing her body left the family home and travelled to Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton.
Read more: Dame Vera Lynn dies aged 103
The crowd applauded as the ceremonial Battle of Britain Memorial Flight consisting of a Spitfire and a Hurricane flew overhead.
The Telegraph reported that the crowd also burst into a rendition of the late star’s famous song, We’ll Meet Again.
Crowds watch as a Spitfire flypast honours Dame Vera Lynn before her funeral ceremony. pic.twitter.com/jp3pTNvPQX
— ITV News (@itvnews) July 10, 2020
Dame Vera’s funeral ceremony will be for a small number of family only, while a full memorial service is being planned for a later date.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic the number of people who may attend funerals is still limited to allow for social distancing.
Ahead of the funeral, the singer was remembered by Captain Tom Moore as he appeared on Good Morning Britain.
Calling Dame Vera “lovely”, Captain Tom recalled a time when she visited troops in Burma.
“There she was, this lovely English girl,” said the 100-year-old.
'She was kind and she was lovely. I've always had a place in my heart for Dame Vera.'
Dame Vera Lynn will be laid to rest at a private funeral later today.@captaintommoore pays tribute to Dame Vera as he recalls the letter he received from the Forces Sweetheart.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 10, 2020
“She was a great person to give us a lot more confidence and we were very, very pleased to see her.”
He said he had always had a soft spot in his heart for the star.
Singer Elaine Paige said on Twitter that Dame Vera would always be “Great Britain's Sweetheart”.
Piers Morgan, who lives in Sussex, saw the planes flying past.
He tweeted: “Just saw two Spitfires flying over my house down in East Sussex, making a tremendous roar.
“Couldn’t work out what the hell was going on, then I remembered it’s Dame Vera Lynn’s funeral today. She lived a few miles down the road. Very moving moment.
Read more: Dame Vera Lynn’s life in pictures
Actress Vicki Michelle tweeted: “What a huge part she played in the lives of the British people. Will always be remembered in our hearts. Brilliant she’s being honoured with a fly past.”
Earlier this week, Dame Vera’s image was projected onto the cliffs of Dover, in a nod to her song The White Cliffs Of Dover.
Her daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones said in a message on Facebook: “I feel very honoured to have my mother's image on the white cliffs of Dover, which is so closely associated with her, and I know that she would definitely feel the same.”
Dame Vera was born in East Ham, east London, on 20 March, 1917.
She performed for troops on the frontline during the war, often at great personal risk, in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.