Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ born 20 March 1917, widely known as “the Forces’ Sweetheart”, is an English singer of traditional pop, songwriter and actress, whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during the Second World War.
During the war she toured Egypt, India, and Burma as part of ENSA, giving outdoor concerts for the troops. The songs most associated with her are “We’ll Meet Again”, “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 UK and the US 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 age 92, she became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums Chart, with We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn. She released the album Vera Lynn 100 in 2017, to commemorate her centennial year, and it was a number 3 hit, making her the oldest recording artist in the world and first centenarian performer to have an album in the charts.
She has devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children, and breast cancer. She is held in great affection by veterans of the Second World War to this day and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the 20th century.
In this film, she looks back at the war and what it meant to the British population.