Sis just told me the news, so I dropped my weed-eater to come in and post this quickly. Dame Vera Lynn died this morning at the young age of 103.
Here is a bit from The Guardian's release:
Dame Vera Lynn, whose song We’ll Meet Again became an anthem of hope and resilience during the second world war, has died aged 103.
Her family said they were “deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers”, and that they were with her when she died at her East Sussex home.
Boris Johnson paid tribute, saying: “Dame Vera Lynn’s charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours. Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.” Labour politician Angela Rayner called Lynn “a beautiful person who will be sadly missed by all who her knew her”.
Born in East Ham, on the outskirts of London, in 1917, Lynn survived a near-fatal case of diphtheria as a two-year old, and began performing aged seven. From the age of 18 she began working with orchestras in the UK, and released her debut solo recording, Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire, in 1936, while she worked in an East End shipping company.
During the second world war, she performed to people sheltering from bombing raids in the stations of London’s underground, and her popularity among soldiers grew her fame. She earned the nickname “the forces’ sweetheart”, touring for troops in Egypt, India and Myanmar, then known as Burma, during the war. “Singing in the jungle was very hot and very sticky, which was a bit hard going,” she told the Guardian in 2017. “I had a little piano, which they trudged around on the back of a lorry, hoping it would survive the journeys.”
Captain Tom Moore, the veteran who recently raised £33m for NHS charities, tweeted: “She had a huge impact on me in Burma and remained important to me throughout my life.”
Her last public performance came in 2005, at the 60th anniversary celebrations for VE Day in Trafalgar Square. She performed a snatch of We’ll Meet Again, and told the crowd: “These boys gave their lives and some came home badly injured and for some families life would never be the same. We should always remember, we should never forget and we should teach the children to remember.”