Dame Vera was born on March 20, 1917 in London and her singing career was already flourishing when war broke out in 1939.
She was awarded the title Forces’ Sweetheart following a poll in the Daily Express, and travelled thousands of miles – often at great personal risk – to entertain the troops.
She also had a BBC radio show on which she performed songs such as We’ll Meet Again, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing, and If Only I Had Wings.
Dame Vera became known as the Forces’ Sweetheart during WWII (she is pictured with a cardboard cut-out of her as a young woman
Dame Vera famously visited the Forgotten Fourteenth Army which was fighting the bitter Burma campaign, and in 1985 was awarded the Burma Star for her contribution to the war effort there.
When the war was over she retired from the stage and microphone to bring up her daughter, Virginia, at their home in Sussex, but she remained in demand.
She toured throughout the world, visiting the US, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Dame Vera once said: ‘I have never been terribly ambitious. I never wanted to be a Judy Garland or anything, and I wouldn’t change the way I used to sing.
‘If work came along I liked, I would do it. If it interfered with home life for too long or took me away, I wouldn’t.’
Dame Vera’s hits included We’ll Meet Again, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings (she is pictured in 1955)
In 2002, she founded cerebral palsy charity the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, based in Billingshurst, West Sussex, which provides support and education for affected families.
She is involved with many other charities throughout the UK and beyond.
She has received accolades throughout her life, including an OBE in 1969, a DBE in 1975, and in 1978 she was given the Freedom of the City of London.