ENTERTAINMENT

Dame Vera Lynn, Singer Known As The 'Forces' Sweetheart,' Dead At 103

One of Britain’s best-loved entertainers, Lynn performed for troops during World War II, often at great personal risk.

Dame Vera Lynn has died at 103, her family said.

The singer was widely known as the Forces’ Sweetheart having entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the front line during the Second World War.

Dame Vera’s family said they were “deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers” in a statement on Thursday. 

Dame Vera Lynn
Dame Vera Lynn

They added: “Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family.”

The family also said further information regarding a memorial service “will be announced at a later date.”

Dame Vera was born in East Ham, east London, on March 20, 1917.

She performed for troops during the war, often at great personal risk, in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.

Dame Vera pictured in 1956
Dame Vera pictured in 1956

Her most famous song was “We’ll Meet Again,” but she also had hits with “The White Cliffs Of Dover,” “There’ll Always Be An England,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Wishing” and “If Only I Had Wings,” which she sang to help raise British spirits during the Blitz.

Dame Vera later had her own TV show and toured the world performing.

In May this year, she became the oldest artist to score a top 40 album in the UK, when her greatest hits album 100 re-entered the chart at number 30, boosted by commemorations for the 75th anniversary of VE day. 

She remained an outspoken supporter of military veterans throughout her life.

Dame Vera was an outspoken supporter of military veterans throughout her life
Dame Vera was an outspoken supporter of military veterans throughout her life

In May, she urged the nation to “remember the brave boys and what they sacrificed for us.”

She added: “They left their families and homes to fight for our freedom and many lost their lives trying to protect us and our liberties.”

Dame Vera pictured with the Queen in 1992
Dame Vera pictured with the Queen in 1992

She also encouraged the British public to “rediscover that same spirit that saw us through the war” amid the coronavirus pandemic, in a special message before she turned 103 in March.

The Queen also referenced the title of Dame Vera’s most beloved wartime song when she told the country, separated from families and friends during the coronavirus lockdown: “We will meet again.”

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