Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103. The singer became known as the ‘forces’ sweetheart’ because of her popularity during the second world war, and went on to become one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers
Dame Vera Lynn, singer who embodied the brave spirit of wartime Britain – obituary
Her songs reminded combatants what they were fighting for, ‘precious, personal things rather than ideologies’, and gave hope of better days
Dame Vera Lynn, who has died aged 103, symbolised the spirit and sentiment of the Second World War with evocative songs, which she continued to sing as the country underwent enormous changes over the next 80 years.
Carpers would complain that her best-known numbers were cloying and that she embodied values that were no more. But nobody doubted that she believed her singing had reminded combatants that they were really fighting, as she put it, for “precious, personal things rather than ideologies which gave people hope of better times”.
Her warm place in the public imagination remained until long after she had ceased to have her own television show and had given up touring and singing in public. When We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn, a new collection of her old songs, came out in 2009 it outsold U2 and Eminem, pop performers of whom she had never heard, making her the oldest person to top the album charts.