Dame Vera Lynn has pledged her support to a fundraising appeal for the White Cliffs of Dover – the centrepiece of her most famous song.
The ‘Forces’ Sweetheart’ said it was “vital” to preserve the cliffs, which are being threatened by potential development.
The National Trust has launched a £1 million campaign to buy 700,000 square metres of land immediately behind the clifftop which it has been looking after since 2012.
Dame Vera said: “It is vital that we do all that we can to preserve this important historical site – as well as the Cross Channel battery – for posterity, so that the memory of the past is never forgotten by future generations.
“Those iconic white cliffs mean a great deal to so many people.
“They were often the first sight of home for our brave boys as they returned from war, and they continue to represent important British ideals such as hope and resilience even in the most difficult of times.
A number of Second World War features remain on the site, including two large gun emplacements.
Virginia Portman, White Cliffs of Dover general manager, said: “The site should be open for the whole nation to enjoy. It would be devastating if we lost the opportunity to protect it forever.
“A successful appeal will not only allow us to secure the land but also educate and inspire future generations.”