Tributes to wartime British icon Vera Lynn after her death aged 103, Europe News & Top Stories
LONDON (AFP) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday (June 18) led a wave of tributes to WWII ‘sweetheart of the forces’ Vera Lynn, whose resounding songs helped maintain national morale, after her death at the age of 103.
She traveled thousands of miles to the front lines, from Egypt to India and Myanmar, to entertain British troops with a series of classics such as We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs Of Dover.
A performer from the age of seven, Lynn also starred in films, enjoyed many post-war successes, and was named Lady of the British Empire in 1976.
Its place in the social history of Great Britain cannot be overstated. She received a Pink Floyd tribute to Vera and sang the end credits of the 1964 comedic war film Dr Strangelove.
When she turned 100, her portrait was projected onto the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
Lynn has released a new album – becoming the first centenary to do so – and Queen Elizabeth II referred to it in a speech urging Britons to revive the spirit of war during the coronavirus lockdown.
âThe charm and magical voice of Dame Vera Lynn has fascinated and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours,â Johnson said on Twitter.
âHis voice will live to lift the hearts of generations to come. “
The Royal British Legion, a charity providing support to veterans, has called Lynn “an unforgettable British icon” and “a symbol of hope for the military community past and present”.
London’s Evening Standard newspaper reported his death on the front page. “Farewell to our war darling,” he said.
The BBC has a special tribute scheduled for Thursday evening.
Her family called Lynn, who lived in East Sussex, England, “one of Britain’s most beloved artists”, claiming that she died Thursday morning surrounded by her loved ones.
Born in the East End of London in 1917, Lynn became a household name during the war years.
She hosted a BBC radio show Sincerely Yours, appeared in a force theater review, and made three war films as well as tours.
Among the highlights of the postwar period was being the first British performer to have a number one in the United States with Auf Wiedersehen, Sweetheart, her most successful record, in 1952.
As Lynn’s career declined, she remained a beloved figure in celebrations marking the anniversaries of the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944 in France, as well as Victory Day in Europe commemorating the end of the war in Europe May 8, 1945.
His death comes just weeks after Britons joined in a national rendition of We Will Meet Again from Home to boost morale during the coronavirus lockdown.
In early April, after home care measures were imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Queen promised the British “we will meet again” once the restrictions are lifted.
World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore, 100, who rose to fame during the crisis after raising huge sums for health service charities by taking tours of his garden, called the news of her death of “truly shameful”.
“She had a huge impact on me in Burma (Myanmar) and remained important to me throughout my life,” he said, adding that his thoughts were with his family.
Mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins, who released a duet with Lynn of her most famous song, said her voice “has comforted millions of people in their darkest hours.”
“She was the one who chose the sentiments of her songs – she instinctively knew what people needed to hear, how to rally morale and her spirit and strength created the soundtrack of a generation,” a- she said in a statement.
“There will never be another Lady Vera Lynn,” she added.
Lynn made several public statements during the pandemic, urging Britons in March to “rediscover that same spirit that has seen us through war”.
“The music is so good for the soul … keep smiling and keep singing,” said a post on her Twitter account, alongside the release of a new We’ll Meet Again video to coincide with her. 103rd anniversary.