Dame Vera Lynn dies, aged 103

The Editors
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From Harper's BAZAAR

Vera Lynn has died, aged 103. The singer was best known for raising morale among World War Two troops by performing for them in countries including India and Burma.

She is most closely associated with songs such as We'll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and There'll Always Be an England.

Lynn's family confirmed that she died on Thursday morning surrounded by close relatives. "The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain's best-loved entertainers at the age of 103," a statement said.A memorial will be held at a later date.

Photo credit: Keystone - Getty Images

Born in East Ham, Essex to a plumber and dressmaker, Lynn began performing publicly when she was seven years old. Her role in the wartime efforts started when she would sing to Londoners using tube stations as air raid shelters and in 1941 she set up a radio station, Sincerely Yours, designed to send moral-lifting messages to British troops abroad. She also visited hospitals to meet new mothers, then relaying personal messages to their husbands overseas.

During the war, she also performed outdoor shows for soldiers abroad and became known as "the Forces' Sweetheart". Her career continued after WWII and in 1952 her song Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart became the first record by a British performer to top the US charts.

Last month, she became the oldest artist to get a top 40 album in the UK when her greatest hits album re-entered the charts at number 30. The Queen made a reference to Dame Lynn's famed song, We'll Meet Again, during a rousing televised speech aimed to boost the nation at the start of the pandemic outbreak.

She said: "We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

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