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Dame Vera Lynn Dies Aged 103

by : Julia Banim on : 18 Jun 2020 09:49
Dame Vera Lynn Dies Aged 103PA

Dame Vera Lynn has died today, June 18, at the age of 103.

Dame Vera, born Vera Margaret Welch, is best known for her wartime song We’ll Meet Again, which gained new significance during the coronavirus pandemic. Her other well-known songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There’ll Always Be An England.

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Often referred to as ‘the Forces’ Sweetheart’, Dame Vera helped raise morale during World War II, performing for the troops based in countries across the world, including those based in Egypt, India and Burma.

Personal assistant and close family friend Susan Fleet said:

The family of are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers at the age of 103.

Dame Vera Lynn who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family. Further information regarding a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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Dame Vera was born in the London suburb of East Ham, on March 20, 1917. Her stage name came from her grandmother’s maiden name. After volunteering to work during the war, she was told the best thing to do was to carry on being a singer and entertainer. In 1939 she was voted servicemen’s favourite entertainer, thus securing her nickname as ‘the Forces’ Sweetheart’. Her songs gave comfort and hope to army forces and civilians alike.

Tributes have poured in for the beloved singer and national treasure, whose moving songs of hope and endurance during difficult times have resonated with people of all ages throughout the decades.

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Taking to Twitter, BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker wrote:

I remember my grandparents talking about how much they admired Dame Vera Lynn and a few weeks ago we were talking to people on BBC breakfast who are still inspired by her songs today.

What an impact she had on so many generations… and what a life.

Actor Anna Friel tweeted:

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Legend. Rest in peace . Thank you for giving so much. The whole world knows that song. It gave such hope. #veralynn

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Dame Vera was made a dame in 1976, and was named as the Brit who ‘best exemplified the spirit of the 20th Century’ in 2000, BBC News reports.

Although widely associated with World War II, Dame Vera’s appeal endured throughout her lengthy career. In 2009, Dame Vera became the oldest living singer to top the British album chart, beating Arctic Monkeys to the number one spot.

In 2020, Britons turned to Dame Vera once more as a source of comfort during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing fans on VE Day this year, Dame Vera had the following words of encouragement to share:

Keep smiling through. Times may be tough but they will get better. Try to find the joy that remains even in such challenging times and do what you can to help each other.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II evoked Dame Vera’s lyrics in a televised message of solidarity to the nation, which concluded with the words ‘we will meet again’.

Our thoughts are with the family of Dame Vera Lynn at this difficult time.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Celebrity, Now, World War II

Credits

BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Obituary: Dame Vera Lynn, a symbol of resilience and hope