Written by Lawrence Van Gelder
Vera Lynn, who sang the songs that touched the hearts and lifted the spirits of Britons from the bomb-blitzed streets of London and Coventry to the sands of North Africa and the jungles of Burma during World War II, died Thursday at her home in Sussex, England. She was 103.
Her death was confirmed by her representative, Andrew Gordon.
Long after the war ended, the melodies lingered on: “We’ll Meet Again,” “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover,” “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.”
In those wartime years, she became known as the “Forces’ Sweetheart,” and to the end of her life the veterans were her “boys,” still misty-eyed when she sang, “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.”
“Churchill didn’t beat the Nazis,” English comedian Harry Secombe once said. “Vera sang them to death.”
“People used to say that my singing gave them courage and hope,” Lynn said. “I think that is a great compliment.”
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