A soldier from Sunderland has spoken of his privilege at being part of the guard of honour at the funeral of Dame Vera Lynn.
Lance Sergeant Jonathan (Bobby) Robson, 31, was one of twelve members of the forces who lined the route as the coffin was carried into the crematorium in Brighton.
Being in the British Army has given me the opportunity to support some incredibly important events, and to form part of the guard honouring Dame Vera is a huge privilege for me. For someone who has contributed so much to our Nation and in particular to our Armed Forces, our support to Dame Vera’s funeral is a fitting tribute.
Dame Vera Lynn, the forces sweetheart, passed away at the age of 103 on 18 June 20. Crowds lined the street of Ditchling, East Sussex, on July 10, where she had lived for decades. Two spitfires, part of Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, performed a flypast.
Traditionally, the military is only involved in civilian funerals in exceptional cases. Dame Vera, known as the Forces' Sweetheard, was a figure of enormous standing.
As well as her time spent enterating the forces during World War II, she raised an estimated £50 million for service Charities.
When British officers imprisoned in Colditz were liberated by the Americans at the end of the war, it was to Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt and Vera Lynn that they raised their glasses.
Lance Sergeant Robson is a section commander in the Colddstream Guards. He joined the Army nearly 10 years ago and has served in Afghanistan, Belize, Kenya and the Falkland Islands.