East London street art tribute to Forces Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn

·2-min read

Dame Vera Lynn will be remembered with a huge graffiti-style street art mural in her native east London.

The image of the forces sweetheart, whose songs rallied the nation in World War II, has been painted on a wall on Barking Road not far from where she grew up in East Ham.

It measures around 11ft by 11ft and the black and white portrait of the singer also includes a pair of bluebirds - a reference to one of her biggest wartime hits There’ll be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover.

Marc Silver, whose firm MurWalls normally paint massive murals of football stars, rappers or actors, said this creation was a “passion project”.

He said: “I’m 44 years old and I think people my age would have heard of Dame Vera Lynn and knew her for what she did and as the forces sweetheart but the younger generation, people who are just coming through, they’re not going to know who she is and that’s my reason why I wanted to make this happen.

“With this you’ll have children asking ‘Who’s that?’ and it’s a chance for people to tell the story behind it.”

MurWalls was also behind the England football mural unveiled at Vinegar Yard on Tuesday.

The project was also supported by Newham Council and Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “Dame Vera Lynn was the girl next door who represented a special symbol of the resilience of the East End and hope to our country in the Second World War.

“We are proud of her as a Newham legend, naming a street after her and she will always have a special place in hearts. So it is fitting that a year after her death, we are sponsoring this street mural in memory of her. Through this piece of beautiful visual art, we can celebrate Newham’s heritage in ways that are accessible and this reflects our approach to inclusive culture and arts”

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