We'll Meet Again singer Dame Vera Lynn dies aged 103
A family statement read: "The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain's best-loved entertainers at the age of 103.
"Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family."
Dame Vera Lynn was a London-born singer who is best known for performing for the troops during the Second World War.
She performed in countries including Egypt, India and Burma, with her most famous songs including The White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again.
As well as travelling across the world to sing, the 103-year-old also hosted a radio show which sent messages to British troops who were serving overseas.
Known as the ‘Forces Sweetheart’, Dame Vera found fame after her song We’ll Meet Again became an anthem of resilience for those who were separated from their loved ones during the war.
The famous wartime song was also echoed by the Queen when she delivered a special televised address to the nation in April, acknowledging the hardship people across the country were facing during lockdown.
Stars pay tribute
Broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted: "Oh no.... what terribly sad news. Dame Vera Lynn has died, aged 103. A magnificent woman who rallied our country when we most needed it. The Forces sweetheart. The Nation's sweetheart. RIP."
Boris Johnson's fiancee Carrie Symonds tweeted that Dame Vera's death was "very sad", adding: "Will be playing her music here today. RIP."
Sir Cliff Richard paid tribute to Dame Vera, saying: "Dame Vera Lynn was truly an icon. She was held in such high esteem and my best, and favourite, memory was sharing a performance with her in front of Buckingham Palace for the VE Day celebrations in 1995.
"We walked to the stage through a crowd of survivors of that war, and they were reaching out to touch and get a smile from Vera.
"I heard the words ... 'God bless you' ... 'Thank you' ... 'We love you' for their very own Forces' Sweetheart! A great singer, a patriotic woman and a genuine icon.
"I am happy to use the words called out on the wonderful day. Vera, thank you, God bless you, and I loved you too.
"Rest in a very deserved peace."