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VE Day 75: Dame Vera Lynn thanks people marking historic anniversary under ‘difficult circumstances’

PUBLISHED: 17:30 08 May 2020

Dame Vera Lynn has thanked everyone commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Picture: Dame Vera Lynn

Dame Vera Lynn has thanked everyone commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Picture: Dame Vera Lynn

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Dame Vera Lynn has thanked people for commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day during the coronavirus crisis.

Dame Vera Lynn was one of the few performers entering war zones to entertain the troops during the war. Picture: Bob OgleyDame Vera Lynn was one of the few performers entering war zones to entertain the troops during the war. Picture: Bob Ogley

The East Ham-born singer, known as the Forces’ Sweetheart in the Second World War, was speaking 75 years after Victory in Europe was declared on May 8, 1945.

Dame Vera said: “Like the rest of the nation, I will be spending VE Day at home with my family, continuing to follow the government’s advice.

“We will join with everyone else for the singalong of We’ll Meet Again at 9pm on BBC and enjoy a drink to mark the special occasion.

“Thank you to everyone who is doing their bit to commemorate this important day, especially under these unusual and difficult circumstances.”

Dame Vera Lynn and her mother Annie Welch celebrate the singer's being made a dame in 1975 at Annie's Upney Lane home where the Dame Vera Lynn and her mother Annie Welch celebrate the singer's being made a dame in 1975 at Annie's Upney Lane home where the "forces sweetheart" lived during World War Two.

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE day, the BBC and the Royal British Legion are to celebrate the Second World War generation with an evening of memories and music.

The BBC1 show is due to feature some of those who remember the historic day and performers including Katherine Jenkins, Anton Du Beke, Beverley Knight, Shane Richie and Emma Barton.

At 9pm, the nation is asked to unite for a special rendition of We’ll Meet Again as a gesture of thanks to veterans and in memory of loved ones.

Dancing in the streets on VE DayDancing in the streets on VE Day

In 1945, Dame Vera marked the day with her family at their garden in East Ham where she grew up with her parents Bertram and Annie.

Now aged 103, Dame Vera entertained the troops in India, Egypt and Burma, risking her own safety as one of the few performers entering war zones to boost morale.

Newham’s most famous daughter is well known for performing hits including We’ll Meet Again, There’ll Always Be An England and The White Cliffs of Dover during the 1939-45 conflict.

Speaking on her birthday in March, she urged the public to rediscover the spirit that saw the country through its darkest hour.

She said: “I am reminded of the Second World War, 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.

“In light of the challenges we now face, it is time for us all to rediscover that same spirit.”


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