Ancre Somme Association Scotland
Patron Lt Col Ant Maher, Ambassador's Alison Moodie OBE, WO2 John Knox, Veteran David Birrell, Alexander Stewart MBE MSP, Anas Sarwar MSP,
Alan Brydon, Willie Henderson
Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OstJ 20th March 1917 - 18th June 2020
Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (née Welch; 20th March 1917 – 18th June 2020) was an English singer, songwriter and entertainer whose musical recordings and performances were very popular during the Second World War.
She was widely referred to as the "Forces' Sweetheart" and gave outdoor concerts for the troops in Egypt, India and Burma during the war as part of Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). The songs most associated with her are "We'll Meet Again", "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover", "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square".
She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the United Kingdom and the United States, and recording such hits as "Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart" and her UK number-one single "My Son, My Son". Her last single, "I Love This Land", was released to mark the end of the Falklands War. In 2009, at the age of 92, 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.
In 2014, she released the collection Vera Lynn: National Treasure and in 2017, she released Vera Lynn 100, a compilation album of hits to commemorate her centenary—it was a No. 3 hit, making her the first centenarian performer to have a Top 10 album in the charts.
Lynn devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer. She was held in great affection by Second World War veterans and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the 20th century.
Lynn's wartime contribution began when she would sing to people who were using London's tube station platforms as air raid shelters, she would drive there in her Austin 7 car. Between 1937 and 1940, she also toured with the aristocrat of British dance bands, Bert Ambrose as part of the Ambrose Octet; the group appeared in broadcasts for the BBC and for Radio Luxembourg. She left Ambrose in 1941.
Lynn is best known for the popular song "We'll Meet Again", written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles. She first recorded it in 1939 with Arthur Young on Novachord, and later again in 1953 accompanied by servicemen from the British Armed Forces. The nostalgic lyrics ("We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day") were very popular during the war and made the song one of its emblematic hits.
During the Phoney War, the Daily Express asked British servicemen to name their favourite musical performers: Vera Lynn came out on top and as a result became known as "the Forces' Sweetheart". In July 1940, Lynn made her first appearance as a "fully fledged solo act" in Coventry.
Her continuing popularity was ensured by the success of her radio programme "Sincerely Yours", which begain airing in 1941, with messages to British troops serving abroad. However, in the aftermath of the fall of Singapore in February 1942 the programme was taken off air for 18 months out of fear that the sentimental nature of her songs would undermine the "virile" nature of British soldiers. Instead, "more traditionally martial classical music" was promoted.
Lynn and her quartet continued to perform songs most requested by the soldiers. Lynn also visited hospitals to interview new mothers and send personal messages to their husbands overseas. Her other great wartime hit was "The White Cliffs of Dover", words by Nat Burton, music by Walter Kent. In 1943, she appeared in the films We'll Meet Again and Rhythm Serenade.
During the war years, she joined the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) and toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for British troops.
Between 1942 and 1944, she appeared in three movies with wartime themes.
In March 1944, she went to Shamshernagar airfield in Bengal to entertain the troops before the Battle of Kohima. Her host and lifelong friend Captain Bernard Holden recalled "her courage and her contribution to morale". In 1985, she received the Burma Star for entertaining British guerrilla units in Japanese-occupied Burma.
During the Wartime years...
This page is dedicated to Dame Vera Lynn who sadly passed away 18th June 2020 at the grand age of 103 yrs.
This remarkable lady was a British and World icon through the War Years, she was always referred to as our "Forces Sweetheart".
Our WW2 Veterans and their families loved her moving, touching songs. These iconic songs have been played for decades, they remind of us of our family and how far we have come together.
Dame Vera Lynn also raised money for various charities.
On 5 April 2020 the song "We'll Meet Again" was echoed by Queen Elizabeth II in a television address she delivered addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. For the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Lynn and Katherine Jenkins duetted virtually (Jenkins singing next to a hologram) at the Royal Albert Hall, which was empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our children should hear these songs and learn our history.
Click the pictures and sing along with Dame Vera Lynn