Find ‘moments of joy’ to cope with ‘hard times’ says Dame Vera Lynn in message marking her 103rd birthday
- The Forces’ Sweetheart celebrates her 103rd birthday today with new video
- Footage pairs Dame Vera’s performances with words tackling modern themes
- Message from the singer recorded this week is also included in the video
- Dame Vera tells listeners ‘keep smiling and keep singing,’ despite Covid-19 fears
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
For the second time in her life, Dame Vera Lynn is inspiring the country to find ‘moments of joy’ amid hard times.
More than 70 years after her song We’ll Meet Again helped rally British troops in the Second World War, the Forces’ Sweetheart has released a new music video to mark her 103rd birthday.
A special voiceover recorded by Dame Vera features in the video, which shows archive footage of her performances along with pictures and words tackling themes including the current coronavirus pandemic.
Dame Vera Lynn turns 103 today (Friday). To celebrate she has shared a new video with a message of a hope recorded this week, as she hopes to inspire the country in spite of the coronavirus pandemic
The Forces’ Sweetheart turns 103 on Friday, here she is in March 1997 at her 80th birthday celebrations at the Imperial War Museum in London. More than two decades later she continues to spread a positive message to the country in times of hardship
Dame Vera tells listeners: ‘We are facing a very challenging time at the moment, and I know many people are worried about the future.
‘I’m greatly encouraged that despite these struggles we have seen people joining together.
‘They are supporting one another, reaching into the homes of their neighbours by offering assistance to the elderly and sending messages of support and singing into the streets.
‘Music is so good for the soul, and during these hard times we must all help each other to find moments of joy. Keep smiling and keep singing.”
Dame Vera, born in East Ham, east London, rose to popularity while performing for troops during the war in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.
Her best-known songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There’ll Always Be An England.
In another video message on Wednesday, Dame Vera called on the nation to pull together and overcome Covid-19.
More than 80 years after We’ll Meet Again was first released, Dame Vera Lynn is providing a light in the darkness again. The Forces’ Sweetheart turns 103 today and has recorded a message of hope as the world responds to the coronavirus pandemic
Dame Vera Lynn grew up in the east end of London, but her voice has been heard around the world after she inspired Second World war troops with her songs White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again
Dame Vera is pictured meeting the Queen Mother in May 1995 at Buckingham Palace. Dame Vera is encouraging people to find moments of joy during these hard times as the country reacts to the global coronavirus pandemic
Dame Vera Lynn on stage in 1949. The Forces’ Sweetheart was performing at the National Radio Awards at Grosvenor House
She said: ‘All around the world, people are facing extremely difficult times. It is likely that we will all have to make hard decisions in the coming months.
‘I am reminded of World War Two, when our country faced the darkest of times and yet, despite our struggles, pulled together for the common good and we faced the common threat together as a country, and as a community of countries that joined as one right across the world.’