Dame Vera Lynn was a symbol of resilience and hope during the Second World War. But she also provided comfort in more recent times, helping us face the challenges of the current pandemic.
Speaking on her 103rd birthday in March, she urged people to “help each other to find moments of joy” in these “hard times” adding, “Music is so good for the soul.”
Fittingly, the sad news of her passing on 18 June in Ditchling, East Sussex, surrounded by close family, prompted a flood of tributes. Recalling the singer’s great warmth and kindness, fans also spoke of her angelic voice, which will live on in the hearts of so many.
OK! was delighted to attend Dame Vera’s 95th birthday celebrations at the South Lodge Country House Hotel in West Sussex. The twinkly eyed nonagenarian reminisced about performing for troops in Burma [now Myanmar], later admitting of her visit, “I went goodness knows how long without a bath.” Just 24 at the time, she downplayed her bravery, explaining to OK!, “I wasn’t the least bit worried because I always knew I’d be well looked after by the boys.” She added, “None of us thought about what we were doing, we all just got on with it.”
Recalling the night she chose to drive through London during an air raid “my tin hat on and my fingers crossed”, the plucky singer told OK!, “One was always a little scared, but I thought if there was anything waiting for me up there [looking up to the heavens], it will get me no matter what.”
She also spoke about performing at a Windsor Castle party for Princess Elizabeth’s 16th, revealing, “I sang a song called Yours, Elizabeth’s favourite song at the time.”
Her Majesty the Queen is a life-long admirer of Dame Vera and referenced her classic song We’ll Meet Again in her address to the nation in the early days of the coronavirus crisis.
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June 30, 2020