Dame Vera Lynn would be “incredibly humbled” by the Battle of Britain flypast that will take place ahead of her funeral later.
Just before midday at the crossroads in her home village of Ditchling, Sussex, the singer’s funeral cortege will pause, allowing crowds to pay their respects as a Spitfire and a Hurricane fly overhead.
Close friend Susan Fleet, who worked as her assistant for more than 20 years, said: “She would be incredibly humbled because she was the most humble person you would meet.
“She would feel very special, very loved, as she deserves to be.”
Dame Vera died aged 103 on 18 June. Since then, Ms Fleet says she has been inundated with letters from the singer’s fans.
“She wasn’t just a national treasure, she was loved all over the world.
“I’m fortunate that I get to open her mail and it’s come from every country – from children as young as five or six, to people over 100, and everyone in between.”
After the flypast, a family funeral service will take place at Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton.
The service itself is private but a military bearer party will receive Dame Vera‘s coffin and a bugler from the Royal Marines will provide a musical tribute inside the chapel.
Over the decades Dame Vera’s place in the nation’s affections has never diminished. Few did more to lift the nation’s morale in wartime Britain.
Her songs such as We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs Of Dover provided Britons at the time with much-needed courage and hope.
Dame Vera often said her proudest moments came in 1944, when she was out on the ground, visiting the forces.
“Her visit to Burma was the most important thing in her life,” Ms Fleet said.
“To go out to her boys and bring them a little taste of home was the most important thing that she felt she ever did… she had a backbone of steel, to go to the jungle and to be so close to the front line.
“To sing to the boys was the most significant thing, as far as she was concerned, in her life.”
Her last official public performance was on the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995, but away from the stage Dame Vera was still singing.
Ms Fleet said: “Whenever we were in the car together, she used to do a slight nudge with her elbow and that would mean we’d start having a sing song.”
A full memorial service is expected to be held at a later date.