Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
25 April 2014

D-Day Event: Katherine Jenkins To Duet with Dame Vera

Katherine Jenkins to sing virtual duet of 'We'll Meet Again' with Dame Vera Lynn at D-Day 70th anniversary concert.

D-Day Event: Katherine Jenkins To Duet with Dame Vera- SSAFA

Katherine Jenkins is to sing virtual duet of 'We'll Meet Again' with Dame Vera Lynn at D-Day 70th anniversary concert.

Patrick Stewart will lead a cast of actors playing Sir Winston Churchill at the special commemorative event.

SSAFA are delighted to be part of the concert at The Royal Albert Hall which will commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day landings. Profits raised will be donated to SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and SkillForce.

The event will be part of BBC Radio 2's D-Day activity which culminates in a special Friday Night Is Music Night, 'D-Day 70 Years On' at the Royal Albert Hall (8-10pm).

Hosts Jeremy Vine, Dermot O’Leary and Louise Minchin will re-tell the key moments of D-Day alongside music from the BBC Concert Orchestra who will be joined by a band featuring musicians drawn from all three UK Armed Forces.

International mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE will perform a virtual duet with Dame Vera Lynn of a song which will have been in the hearts and minds of the soldiers who travelled to Normandy.

Accompanied by archive audio and footage and the BBC Concert Orchestra, Katherine will sing 'We'll Meet Again' which was made famous by Dame Vera more than 70 years ago.

Dame Vera Lynn: "It makes me proud and honoured to know that ‘We’ll Meet Again’ is still so popular, over seven decades after it was first recorded. I remember that day as clearly as if it were yesterday and it was wonderful that this particular song became the one people most associated with the war era. For it to be brought to life again, "dueting" with Katherine Jenkins, is just perfect for the occasion."

Acclaimed folk singer Seth Lakeman will perform a song written about his grandfather who served at D-Day. His grandfather, Sergeant Kenneth Lakeman of the Royal Corps of Signals, took a young Seth to Arromanches Beach when he was 13 years old to recount that fateful day.

Seth Lakeman: “It will be a real honour to perform King and Country with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The song was written when my Grandfather was still alive. As a family we are incredibly proud of him and the part played during WW2 and D-Day. It tells a story of uncertainty and longing that a whole country must have felt whilst waiting for their loved ones to return. To visit Arromanches with him was very moving and made a huge impact on me and I always feel that his memory is preserved within this song.”

Patrick Stewart, playing Sir Winston Churchill, will lead a cast of actors as they narrate stories - from right across Europe - based on extracts of D-Day diary entries and letters.

Patrick Stewart said "I am delighted and proud to be part of this anniversary commemoration. Churchill wrote English to be spoken and I have always loved quoting his remark that 'The greatest virtue is courage, because it makes all the other virtues possible'."

More artists to be announced soon. Please listen to BBC Radio 2 for more information.

The D-Day operation during World War II was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea and air. 156,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword - it marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

More than two million servicemen and women took part in planning and executing this auspicious and daring campaign. Seventy years later, on 6 June 2014, the world will pause to commemorate their success and also their sacrifice.

David Murray, Chief Executive of SSAFA commented, “I am delighted that SSAFA has been given this opportunity to take part in such a moving tribute. The commemoration of 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings is an opportunity for us to mark the bravery of those who landed on the Normandy beaches and who freed Europe. Money from profits of this concert will be used to provide lifelong support for our forces and there families, from all conflicts.”

More about SSAFA's D-Day concert

'Friday Night is Music Night Presents D-Day 70 Years On' will be produced by TBI Media and Snappin' Turtle Production for BBC Radio 2. For ticket information visit the Radio 2 website or The Royal Albert Hall website.