Vera Lynn, now 100, turned up to Brighton Pride to join gay men’s choir
Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn has been marking her 100th birthday this week.
Her new album, 100, is at No.3 in the mid-week charts, more than 90 years after her first public outing as a singer.
Fans of her singing, along with those from politics, the Armed Forces and public life have been sharing their stories of her remarkable career.
In 2009 she was the surprise guest at a slightly different type of event – Brighton and Hove Pride.
The annual celebration of LGBT life was running with the theme of Pride beside the Seaside that year, and the Brighton and Hove Actually Gay Men’s Chorus were performing.
Representatives from Blind Veterans UK and local branches of the Royal British Legion attended the gay group’s performance as honoured guests, with proceeds from the concert going to Blind Veterans UK and the Dame Vera Lynn Trust.
Also in attendance was Dorie Steward, one of the first female allied officers to arrive in Europe after VE day, who was set to join the choir on stage as their special guest.
But Mrs Steward had a surprise in store – her friend, the iconic voice of WW2 and a Sussex resident, had wanted to come along too.
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Alan Baser, Chair of Actually Gay Men’s Chorus, said: “What the boys didn’t know was that Dorie would bring her friend, Dame Vera Lynn to the concert.
“Her presence certainly made the boys stand that little bit taller!
“She was very gracious and provided some lovely feedback to the boys.”
Sadly, there’s only one photo the choir have from the day.
George Montague, one of the last remaining people who was convicted for having sex with another man, was also in attendance at the event.
Dame Lynn previously sued the far-right British National Party (BNP) after they used her iconic song, We’ll meet Again, in a promotional video.