Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 16:55 UK

Dame Vera wins woman of year gong

Dame Vera Lynn (right) with Katherine Jenkins
Like Dame Vera (right), Jenkins (left) has performed for UK troops

Veteran singer Dame Vera Lynn has received a lifetime achievement award at the annual Women of the Year lunch.

The 92-year-old, who last month became the oldest living artist to top the UK album chart, received her prize from classical music star Katherine Jenkins.

Esther Rantzen, Maureen Lipman and Fern Britton were on hand to see the singer receive her accolade.

"It's lovely to be recognised all those years after the event," said the star, who is best known for We'll Meet Again.

"I'm still very proud of the fact that is a song that has gone around the world," she said at the ceremony.

"What better words can you have when your loved one has gone to war and you leave your family behind?"

Last month the performer - whose other recordings include The White Cliffs Of Dover - urged contemporary pop stars to do more to support British troops abroad.

'Not on scrap heap'

Dame Vera's greatest hits, We'll Meet Again - The Very Best of Vera Lynn, went to number one for one week in September.

Her album outsold Arctic Monkeys and the Kings of Leon and even defeated the Beatles' much-hyped remastered back catalogue.

Fern Britton and Esther Rantzen
Fern Britton and Esther Rantzen were among this year's celebrity guests

"There are so many recent cases of older women being thrown on the scrap heap," said Rantzen at Monday's event at London's Intercontinental Hotel.

"I don't think anyone would dare throw [Dame Vera] on the scrap heap."

Awards recipients are nominated by the Women of the Year Council, currently chaired by singer Joan Armatrading.

Other women recognised include Jane Walker, an environmental campaigner from Southampton, and Hilary Henriques, founder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA).

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