Second World War heroes will serenade theatre-goers with iconic wartime songs such as We’ll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover and I’ll Be Seeing You, before attending a gala performance at the London Palladium (on Saturday 18 March) to celebrate the 100th birthday of Forces’ Sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn.
The veterans, who are attending with the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, have been provided with free tickets for the show which includes a stellar line-up including Aled Jones, Alexander Armstrong, Russell Watson, Hayley Westernra, Simon Callow, Alan Titchmarsh and Sir Tim Rice.
Dame Vera Lynn has been a patron of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans for over 60 years. “She regularly attended our Worthing outing every year and was very well received by all the veterans present,” says Dick Goodwin, the charity’s event organiser and vice-president.
“We don't know how long she has been Patron but believe it is from the early 1950s when she first came on board and we have footage of her dating from that time at our events.
"Our veterans are extremely honoured to be offered the tickets to attend this marvellous event and they are all looking forward to the show.”
Veteran Danny McCrudden - stage name Danny McCall - was invited to the Lyceum in 1947 to sing with an orchestra while Dame Vera was billed with only a pianist.
When Dame Vera went up to sing one of her songs, ‘I’ll Make Up for Everything,’ she was told she couldn’t sing it as Danny had got there first.
Danny reminded her of the occasion when he met her at one of her last visits to Worthing with the charity.
“She said to me, do I know you?” said Danny.
“Well you might remember me, I said, but you may not want to be reminded of where and when."
“I found her to be a very warm person with a wonderful voice and all of us from the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans wish her a very happy 100th birthday for Monday.”
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, also known as the Taxi Charity, was formed in Fulham in 1948 and relies on volunteer London licensed taxi drivers to provide their taxis and time for free. The charity was voted the nation’s favourite voluntary/charity project in the 2016 National Lottery Awards. To donate to support this year’s Back to the Beaches of Normandy trip in June, please click here.