Dame Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103, her family have announced.
The singer, songwriter and actress widely known as “the Forces’ Sweetheart” passed away earlier today (June 18) surrounded by her close relatives.
A family statement added: “The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers at the age of 103.”
Lynn was credited with raising morale in the UK during the Second World War through her renditions of such songs as ‘We’ll Meet Again’, ‘There’ll Always Be An England’ and ‘(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover’.
She earned the nickname “the Forces’ Sweetheart” during the war for her regular visits to troops on the front line, while she also performed in countries such as India and Egypt as part of the Entertainments National Service Association.
‘We’ll Meet Again’ re-entered the UK charts last month as the song enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of VE Day, while its enduring message of resilience also spoke to many people during the coronavirus lockdown.
Lynn also became the oldest singer to score a UK top 40 album last month when her greatest hits collection ‘100’ re-entered the UK albums chart, beating the record she previously set back in 2017.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those to pay tribute to Lynn, saying her “charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours”.
Dame Vera Lynn’s charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours. Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.
— Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) June 18, 2020
“Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come,” he said.
Dame Vera Lynn ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Pr4dFX4OA8
— Katherine Jenkins (@KathJenkins) June 18, 2020
A message from Tom. ‘A real shame, I really thought Vera Lynn would live longer she’s been speaking so well on TV recently. She had a huge impact on me in Burma and remained important to me throughout my life. My thoughts are with Dame Vera Lynn's family at this sad time’
— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) June 18, 2020
The incomparable Dame Vera Lynn has left us. Her talent was so very rare and special, her service to this country an inspiration to us all and we shall never see her like again. Thank you, God bless you and rest in peace #dameveralynn
— Michael Ball OBE (@mrmichaelball) June 18, 2020
We are incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Dame Vera Lynn, an unforgettable British icon, symbol of hope to the Armed Forces Community past and present, and much loved longstanding Legion supporter. Our thoughts are with her loved ones. pic.twitter.com/lFrfQPwKbr
— Royal British Legion (@PoppyLegion) June 18, 2020
BBC pays tribute to Dame Vera Lynn with a special programme tonight. pic.twitter.com/2KV8CNtyEa
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 18, 2020
Rest in peace Dame Vera Lynn
A hugely important figure in British culture throughout our nation's toughest times
You will long be remembered by millions. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/6HMdT8L2QW
— Royal Albert Hall (@RoyalAlbertHall) June 18, 2020
Rest in peace Dame Vera Lynn. Truly a national treasure, and this is such sad news to hear, especially at this time when her iconic song and spirit touched the nation. It was a real pleasure to sing with her – an honour I will treasure forever. pic.twitter.com/FGxSedkSH5
— Alfie Boe OBE (@AlfieBoe) June 18, 2020
Have a lovely long rest now Dame Vera Lynn.
You deserve it . ❤️#RipdameVeraLynn
— Kate Robbins (@KateRobbins) June 18, 2020
Entertainer Dame Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103, her morale boosting songs were legendary during WW2, a beautiful person who will be sadly missed by all her knew her, sending my deepest condolences to Dame Vera Lynn’s family and friends pic.twitter.com/2oqipyMbHK
— 🌈 Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) June 18, 2020
Sending all my love to the family of Dame Vera Lynn who has sadly passed away – it was such an honour to duet with her – a true legend! #wellmeetagain
— Aled Jones (@realaled) June 18, 2020