Dame Vera Lynn dies aged 103

Entertainer Dame Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103, her family have said.

The 'We'll Meet Again' singer was known as the Forces Sweetheart during WW2.

The singer entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the front line during the Second World War.

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

Dame Vera Lynn Signs Copies Of Her New Autobiography, 'Some Sunny Day', Hatchards, Piccadilly, London. (Photo by John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images)

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

“Further information regarding a memorial service will be announced at a later date.”

Read more: Boris Johnson leads tributes to Vera Lynn

Earlier this year, ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Dame Vera spoke of remembering “the brave boys and what they sacrificed for us”.

In this 2010 file photo, Dame Vera Lynn attends a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

The Queen referenced the title of one of Dame Vera’s most beloved wartime songs when she told the country, separated from families and friends during the coronavirus lockdown: “We will meet again.”

Read more: The stories behind Vera Lynn’s biggest hits

She was also fondly remembered for singing The White Cliffs Of Dover, There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings, to help raise British spirits during the Blitz.

English singer Vera Lynn singing during a broadcast to Allied troop during WWII. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

“My songs reminded the boys of what they were really fighting for,” she once said. “Precious, personal things, rather than ideologies and theories.”

Dame Vera later had her own television show and toured the world.

She remained an outspoken supporter of military veterans throughout her life.

Dame Vera Lynn urged Britons to rediscover the war spirit (Handout/PA)

In May, she urged the nation to “remember the brave boys and what they sacrificed for us”. She added: “They left their families and homes to fight for our freedom and many lost their lives trying to protect us and our liberties.”

Read more: Vera Lynn - a life in pictures

She also encouraged the British public to “rediscover that same spirit that saw us through the war” amid the coronavirus pandemic, in a special message before she turned 103 in March.

Dame Vera was born in East Ham, east London, on 20 March, 1917.

She performed for troops during the war, often at great personal risk, in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.

Read more: Vera Lynn and Katherine Jenkins re-release single for VE Day

In May this year, Dame Vera became the oldest artist to score a top 40 album in the UK.

The 103-year-old saw her greatest hits album 100 re-enter the chart at number 30, boosted by commemorations for the 75th anniversary of VE day on 8 May.

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