Northampton business donates £10,000 for deserving veterans to enjoy Dame Vera tribute

Bill Gladden

Bill Gladden

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Over 200 veterans, along with their carers and partners, enjoyed a ‘night to remember’ when they attended 100: A Tribute to Dame Vera Lynn, thanks to a £10,000 donation made by a Northampton-based firm.

Tickets were donated to veterans - many of whom suffer from disabilities as a result of wounds they suffered whilst serving their country - by civil and drainage solutions supplier, Keyline of Moulton Park.

The collection of tickets also helped to fund Dame Vera’s namesake legacy charity, the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, which helps children under five with cerebral palsy.

One of the deserving veterans who received a ticket, and was in the audience, was 93-year-old Bill Gladden from Welling.

Bill joined the army at 18 years old and served in the 6th Airborne Division at the Normandy landings. After the invasion, Bill received serious injuries to his left ankle and thought he would spend the rest of the war recovering in the hospital until he was discharged in 1947.

Bill said: “Vera was a marvellous singer. She once sang to us up at Salisbury Plain and I could never get her songs out of my mind. Since the show I’ve been singing ‘we’ll meet again’ over and over – I love that song.

“It was a wonderful show and beautifully presented. I shall never forget it. Thank you Keyline for our tickets.”

The show took place on Saturday, March 18 at the London Palladium and was attended by Her Majesty, the Queen.

Celebrities came together to tell the story of Dame Vera Lynn’s incredible career. The audience were treated to an array of performances from celebrities including Aled Jones, Bradley Walsh, Russell Watson, Alexander Armstrong and Hayley Westenra.

Kieran Griffin, managing director at Keyline said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to not only make a big difference to the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity and the families they support, but also to bring so much joy to the veterans who attended her tribute show as a result. I’m delighted that everyone had such a great night.”

Instead of being sent gifts and cards for her 100th birthday, Dame Vera is asking instead for donations to be made to her charity - the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity.

To make a donation visit: www.dvlcc.org.uk.