Page last updated at 18:14 GMT, Saturday, 1 November 2008

Dame Vera backs poetry anthology

Dame Vera Lynn at the book launch
Dame Vera is patron of a charity which gives help to those affected by war

Dame Vera Lynn, the original Forces Sweetheart, has launched an anthology of poems dedicated to and written by current and ex-servicemen and women.

The 91-year-old, who has written an introduction to Voices of the Poppies, attended an event in Brighton.

"I think it's a wonderful idea that these people have the opportunity of putting their thoughts and feelings into words," she said.

The poems commemorate both world wars and more recent conflicts.

New charity

Dame Vera added: "It isn't always easy to express what you really feel. That is why I have always thought how important music and songs were during the war years.

"When I was singing I felt I was the go-between for all those sweethearts left behind.

"In listening to the songs and hearing the words it was as if they were speaking to their loved ones individually."

Proceeds from the work will go towards Flow for All, the Forces Literary Organisation Worldwide.

The new charity, of which Dame Vera is patron, gives help to those affected by war.

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