Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (20 March 1917 – 18 June 2020) was a British singer, songwriter and entertainer whose musical recordings and performances were largely popular during the Second World War. She was widely known as “the Forces’ Sweetheart” and gave outdoor concerts for the troops in Egypt, India and Burma during the war as part of Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). The songs most associated with her are “We’ll Meet Again”, “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover”, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “There’ll Always Be an England”.
She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the United Kingdom and the United States, and recording such hits as “Auf Wiederseh’n, Sweetheart” and her UK number one single “My Son, My Son”. Her last single, “I Love This Land”, was released to mark the end of the Falklands War. In 2009, at the age of 92, she became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums Chart with the compilation album We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn. In 2014, she released the collection Vera Lynn: National Treasure and in 2017, she released Vera Lynn 100, a compilation album of hits to commemorate her centenary—it was a No. 3 hit, making her the first centenarian performer to have a Top 10 album in the charts.
Lynn devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer. She was held in great affection by Second World War veterans and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the 20th century.
Lynn died on 18 June 2020 at her home in East Sussex at the age of 103.
Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again (1943)
The White Cliffs of Dover – Vera Lynn (1942)