Dame Vera Lynn celebrates 100th birthday with pupils at her old school

The record will feature new, orchestra-backed recordings of her beloved music - and will also make her the first singer to have released an album as a centenarian.

With one of her previous albums, a "best of" compilation released in 2009, Lynn became the oldest living artist to have an album reach the number one spot in United Kingdom charts.

The record features re-orchestrations of some of her most famous songs including We'll Meet Again and (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover.

Now Dame Vera is joined by chart-topping British singers on her new compilation album, the 23rd of her career, including Alfie Boe, Alexander Armstrong and Aled Jones.

In celebration of Lynn's centenary, a 350ft image of her will be projected onto the white cliffs of Dover.

Wearing a seasonal floral cardigan and speaking via Skype from her home in Ditchling, East Sussex, she thanked the starstruck students and recalled her "very good memories" at the school.

Asked if she had any advice on getting older, Dame Vera, who made her stage debut at the age of seven, offered: "Be active to your full capabilities, keep interested, read books, watch television and try and keep in touch with life and what people are doing, seeing and enjoying".

A SINGALONG is being staged to celebrate war time singer Dame Vera Lynn becoming 100 years young.

Lynn was known as the "Forces Sweetheart" for her optimistic wartime anthems, including "We'll Meet Again".

Historians have noted how at the age of 22, just before she shot to fame during the Second World War, she performed at the Kursaal Ballroom.

Dame Vera Lynn is expected to beat rapper Drake to third place in the album charts.

Actress Lesley Joseph said: "Dame Vera you are a complete star and congratulations it's a wonderful, wonderful achievement".

"I feel blessed to have reached 100, and I am humbled by everyone's kindness".

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ken Clark, who leads the scheme, said: "We are delighted to be able to honour one of our most loved former residents in this way on her 100th birthday".

Lynn was also known for her charity work.

  • Ernesto Newman