Just a few days ago we lost Chuck Berry – who survived to the grand old age of 90. But today, Dame Vera Lynn turns 100.
From the Washington Post:
To fully fathom the meaning of Vera Lynn to the British, you have to picture a British soldier, in the depths of Britain’s despair at the outset of World War II, hunkered down somewhere in the North Africa, wondering how, if ever, it would end and whether, if ever, he’d get home.
“We were very lucky,” said one such soldier, William Pitcher, in a 1996 oral history. “All the war, even the worst of times, we had a good short wave radio system. In fact, I can remember it was desert, we’d, in the nighttime, on Saturday nights when Vera Lynn come on we’d get the radio off the truck and we’d cover ourselves up with tarp and turn it on. And we’d listen to Vera sing to the troops on a Friday night, on the radio.”
As well as her radio work Dame Vera sang in concert for British troops in Egypt and Burma.
As Barry Humprhies put it:
That voice is as much the Second World War as Winston Churchill’s voice.