Music

Who was Dame Vera Lynn and how did the wartime sweetheart die?


DAME Vera Lynn was the wartime singer famed for her morale boosting songs that supported British troops during the Second World War.

But sadly, the singer tragically passed away in June 2020 after living an incredible life, passing at the age of 108.

 Dame Vera Lynn was known as the forces' sweetheart
Dame Vera Lynn was known as the forces’ sweetheartCredit: PA:Press Association

Who was Vera Lynn?

Vera Lynn was born in East Ham on March 20, 1917, making her 103 when she passed away.

She was a singer, songwriter and actress who became hugely popular during World War Two and was widely referred to as “the Forces’ Sweetheart”.

She began performing at the age of seven and gave up school aged 11 to start touring.

By the 1930s she was a popular radio performer and she released her first solo record in 1936.

 During her life, Vera devoted much of her time to charity work
During her life, Vera devoted much of her time to charity workCredit: PA:Press Association

What was Dame Vera Lynn’s cause of death?

Dame Vera sadly died at the age of 103 on June 18, 2020.

Her exact cause of death is yet to be revealed.

Her family said in a statement: “The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers at the age of 103.

“Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family.”

 Dame Vera Lynn released this album in 2017 to mark her 100th birthday - it was her last album

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Dame Vera Lynn released this album in 2017 to mark her 100th birthday – it was her last albumCredit: PA:Press Association

When did Vera Lynn sing We’ll Meet Again?

Dame Vera was best known for her 1939 hit We’ll Meet Again, which was hugely popular with troops posted overseas and their families back home.

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In the early stages of the war she was voted Britain’s most popular singer.

She would tour the world to entertain the troops during wartime, often at great personal risk, as part of the Entertainments National Service Association.

Among her other best-known songs are I’ll Be Seeing You, The White Cliffs of Dover, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and There’ll Always Be An England.

Films she has appeared in include: We’ll Meet Again (1943), Rhythm Serenade (1943), One Exciting Night (1944) and Meet Again (2014).

Once the war ended, Dame Vera decided to raise her daughter, Virginia – but she still remained popular.

 Vera was given an OBE in the 1969 New Year Honours and was advanced to Dame in 1975 for charitable services
Vera was given an OBE in the 1969 New Year Honours and was advanced to Dame in 1975 for charitable servicesCredit: Getty Images – Getty

How many albums did Dame Vera release?

Dame Vera released 22 original albums during her life, the first one came out in 1949 and was called Sincerely Yours and the last one was called Vera Lynn Remembers, released 1984.

Her last album was released on March 17, 2017 three days before her 100th birthday.

Dame Vera said at the time: “It’s truly humbling that people still enjoy these songs from so many years ago, reliving the emotions of that time – I was after all just doing my job as a singer – and it’s so wonderful for me to hear my songs again so beautifully presented in a completely new way.”

What did Dame Vera Lynn do after the war?

During her life, Vera devoted much of her time to charity work, helping ex-servicemen, disabled children, and breast cancer charities.

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The wartime singer founded a cerebral palsy charity named the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity in 2002, which provides support and education for affected families.

She was awarded with the British War Medal 1939-45 and the Burma Star.

She was also given an OBE in the 1969 New Year Honours and was later advanced to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1975 Queen’s Birthday Honours for charitable services.

In 2000, she was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the 20th century.

Is there a tribute to Vera Lynn on Strictly Come Dancing 2020?

Strictly Come Dancing will air a special tribute to Dame Vera tonight (Sunday, November 8, 2020) during week 3 results show.

It coincides with Remembrance Sunday 2020, where the UK paid tribute to the fallen heroes of the First and Second World War.

The half-hour tribute will air BBC One at 7.30pm and will celebrate the singer’s life following the tragic news of her death.

The show’s synopsis reads: “A tribute celebrating the life and work of Dame Vera Lynn.

“With footage first recorded to celebrate her 100th birthday and a new introduction by her daughter Virginia, it includes exclusive access to Dame Vera as she watches home movies and videos from the past with her daughter.”





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