PENSIONERS at a Hampshire care home staged a tribute to Dame Vera Lynn on what would have been her 104th birthday.

People living at the Woodpeckers complex in Brockenhurst sang some of her most famous songs as well as sharing memories of life during and after the Second World War.

One of the residents, Barbara St John Frost, used to live near Dame Vera's East Sussex home.

She said: “I have fond memories of her and her husband Harry Lewis. They both used to come to all local events and festivities. They were lovely people.”

Fellow Woodpeckers resident Frank Coumbe added: “Vera Lynn boosted the nation’s morale during the war and fully deserved her status as Britain’s sweetheart.”

Dame Vera, who died last June, gave outdoor concerts for the troops in Egypt, India and Burma and was dubbed the Forces' Sweetheart.

The Woodpeckers event included her most famous song, We’ll Meet Again.

Residents recently performed it for sign2sing, a fundraising event run by the deaf health charity SignHealth. They joined pensioners at other Colten Care homes in learning Makaton so they they could sign along in a video.

Just before she died Dame Vera sent a letter to another Colten home, Canford Chase in Poole, thanking residents for sending a card for her 103rd birthday featuring photos of them holding flowers.

The card was sent just as the nation began observing the first national lockdown.

One of the lines in her letter of reply recalled a lyric from We’ll Meet Again, when she wrote: “It was very special to see your happy faces and to know that you ‘keep smiling through’”.