Dame Vera Lynn has joined a campaign for a memorial to the women of the Second World War.

The Forces Sweetheart, who lives in Ditchling, is supporting calls for a memorial in Whitehall to remember their contribution.

She said: "Some time ago I wrote a book about the women who won the war and did many interviews with them. The women really played such a big part but they haven't really been recognised.

"They worked on the buses, in the factories, in the ambulances, in the Land Army and also abroad.

"I've always felt women were not recognised so when I was asked if I would support this campaign I said I would."

Dame Vera, 84, devotes much of her time to good causes, particularly to ex-servicemen and women's charities. She has become a vice-patron of the memorial campaign and said she would love to be at the unveiling ceremony.

The campaign's patron is Baroness Boothroyd, former Speaker in the House of Commons.

The Queen has said she would be honoured to unveil the memorial.

The cost of the project has risen to £700,000 because of the need to buy a site in the centre of Whitehall, just 200m from the Cenotaph.

Another site, opposite the Ministry of Defence building, had to be rejected because of difficulties with a large underground oil tank.