Vera Lynn was a British national institution whose name was known by every member of the older generation and a great many much younger people. She died on the 18th of June 2020 in the village of Ditchling where she had lived for over 50 years and which is just a few miles from where we live.
Her songs are recognised and many are well-known by most people in Britain as the great songs of the Second World War that inspired and comforted British troops. She encouraged and impressed them by visiting them and singing for them in the war zones of Egypt, India and Burma.
She was an exceptional singer in so many ways, famous, admired, adored by millions, she remained unaffected, natural, modest, simple, sincere, quietly courageous and warm. She had a wonderful voice and was born to sing.
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. This was in 2009 when she was 92 years old.
70 years ago, as a child, I, and our whole family having Sunday lunch, used to listen to a record request programme on the radio. It was called Forces Favourites and later was renamed Family Favourites. It was here that I first heard the unique, strong and warm voice of Vera Lynn and songs such as, We’ll meet again, and There’ll Always Be an England.
Hear Vera Lynn sing
You can see and hear Vera Lynn sing in 1943 and 1995 below these pictures.