Dame Vera Lynn, the singer who held a special place in the hearts of the British for boosting morale during the Second world War, has died.
These photographs tell the story of his life.
Vera Welch was born on 20 march 1917 in East Ham, London. None of his parents were involved in show business – his father Bertram was a plumber and his mother Annie was a seamstress.
But at the age of seven years, the talented Vera was singing in clubs, working men – an audience that she described as “awesome” – and quickly became the main support of the family.
When she was 11 years old, Vera took the maiden name of his grandmother, Lynn, as a stage name. She had no singing lessons-formal when she was a child – and a single adult.
She said: “I thought I could extend my range, but when the teacher heard me sing, she said: ‘I can not lead this voice, this is not a natural voice.’ So I said: “well, thank you very much madam “, and I’m gone. ”
The talent of Vera was spotted at the age of 15 years when she sang at Poplar Baths by the head of the local group and Howard Baker. He was enrolled on the spot. In 1936, when she was 19 years old, she had her first solo disc, called Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire.
At the age of 22 years, she had sold over a million discs, bought a house with his parents and a car to herself.
However, it is during the Second world War that his reputation was made. She often sang for the troops during concerts aimed to raise the spirits, becoming known as The Forces ‘Sweetheart.
- Death of Dame Vera Lynn at 103 years old
- Obituary: Dame Vera Lynn, the sweetheart of Great Britain
One of his most famous songs, We’ll meet again was released in 1939 and as the war progressed, it has increasingly resonate with the british public. As Vera said: “It is a good song because it goes with anyone, anywhere, who said goodbye to someone. “
A large part of its appeal in a time of war is coming from his BBC radio show Sincerely Yours, which was released in 1941 and 42 in the form of a ” letter to the men of the Forces… in words and music “. One of the news reports announced the arrival of the babies at home – but it had to be canceled because the producers were so swamped with news of new arrivals.
She had a appeal to be beneficial, which made her a favorite with families as well as troops. However, everyone did not think that it was good for morale, a soldier in retirement has complained in a letter to the Daily Telegraph that such ” programs sickly and watery are largely responsible for the attitude shy of so many people against the war “.
But its popularity was such that it was voted the favorite singer of the british expeditionary force, beating Bing Crosby – with whom she is photographed – and Judy Garland.
She has travelled the world to entertain the troops, including Myanmar (then Burma), India and Egypt. She remembered, later, to have remained in huts made of grass and have used a bucket of water to take a shower.
In 1941, Vera married Harry Lewis. They had a daughter, Virginia, and have lived together in Ditchling, East Sussex, for 58 years until his death in 1999.
After the defeat of nazi Germany, the department of the varieties of the BBC aired a program of victory the day of victory in may 1945. Vera (extreme left) was joined by artists and has returned prisoners of war, british. Its popularity has survived the years of war and after the peace, she has toured throughout the Commonwealth, has appeared in a cabaret of Las Vegas and has performed for the british royal family.
Her tone sentimental is out of fashion at the BBC after the war, but it is back on the airwaves and has remained an essential element in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. In the first-ranking british official in 1952, it occupied three of the 12 first places.
She is pictured here addressing the group’s knowledge of glam rock Slade in 1973, when they gathered around a piano Melody Maker Awards. In 2017, she released her latest album and holds the record of being the oldest artist alive to have reached the top 20 albums in the uk.
Dame Vera has helped to mark the 70th anniversary of the battle of britain at a ceremony on August 10, 2010. His daughter said that letters of fans were still coming in from around the world, sometimes simply addressed to ” Vera Lynn, UK “.
During the preparation of its 100th anniversary in 2017, Dame Vera said that she found it “humiliating” that people always appreciate his songs.
The queen wrote to him: “You have all cheered and high during the war and after the war, and I am sure that on this night the blue birds of Dover survoleront to wish you a happy birthday. “
The portrait of Dame Vera has been projected onto the white cliffs of Dover to celebrate its 100th anniversary. She said that it was ” an honour without precedent to have scored in such a beautiful way “.