Today marks the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn, best known for singing “We’ll Meet Again” and “The White Cliffs of Dover”.
In celebration of Lynn’s centenary, a 350ft image of her will be projected onto the white cliffs of Dover. It will also symbolise the release of her new album, Vera Lynn 100.
The record will feature new re-orchestrated versions of her most popular hits and a previously unreleased version of Sailing. It is thought that the album will make her the first singer to have released a new album as a centenarian.
It is not the first time Lynn has broken records. Eight years ago, she became the oldest living artist to have a UK number one album.
Lynn has been in the industry for 93 years, making her stage debut at just seven years old. She became popular during the Second World War, in which she toured Egypt, India and Burma giving outdoor concerts to troops. During the height of the war, she was given her own radio show in which she sent messages to British soldiers serving abroad.
It was her work during the war that led her to become affectionately known as the Forces’ Sweetheart.
Lynn was also known for her charity work. In 1953, she formed the cerebral palsy charity, SOS and in 1976, the Vera Lynn Charity Breast Cancer Research Trust was founded with Lynn becoming its chairperson and later its president.
In 2010, Lynn became the patron of the Dover War Memorial Project and the British charity, Projects to Support Refugees from Burma/Help 4 Forgotten Allies.
Throughout her career, Lynn has been recognised with various awards. She was awarded the British War Medal 1939-1945 and the Burma Star. In 1969, she was awarded an OBE, which was advanced to a DBE. In 2000, she won a special ‘Spirit of the 20th Century’ Award.
Speaking of her achievements, Lynn said, “It is an unprecedented honour to have my birthday marked in such a beautiful way and I am truly thrilled by this wonderful gesture.”
“As we look to the white cliffs on Monday, I will be thinking of all our brave boys – the cliffs were the last thing they saw before heading off to war and, for those fortunate enough to return, the first thing they saw upon returning home.”
“I feel so blessed to have reached this milestone and I can’t think of a more meaningful way to mark the occasion.”