Dame Vera Lynn, who has died aged 103, spent years as the sentimental reminder of Britain’s resistance during the war years.
Best known for her song We’ll Meet Again, Lynn’s family confirmed her death on Thursday.
Lynn, who was known as the Forces’ Sweetheart during World War II, was most recently in the spotlight during Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8, when the UK – in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic and still house-bound – was invited to sing along to her song We’ll Meet Again.
The song was also referenced by Queen Elizabeth II during her April coronavirus address, when she assured the nation that “We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again”.
Lynn told the BBC in May, “I hope that VE Day will remind us all that hope remains even in the most difficult of times and that simple acts of bravery and sacrifice still define our nation as the NHS works so hard to care for us.
“Most of all, I hope today serves as a reminder that however hard things get, we will meet again.”
During the war, Lynn performed for the troops in countries such as Egypt, India and Burma, according to the BBC.
Her other well-known songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There’ll Always Be An England.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his 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”.
She was born in 1917 in Essex and left school at 14 to join a singing troupe.
Her sentimental songs helped life British morale during the war and she remained popular throughout her life, becoming the oldest living artist to have an album in the top 10 of the British charts with an album to mark her 100th birthday.