Sussex

Coronavirus: Dame Vera Lynn uses 103rd birthday to buoy Britain

Dame Vera Lynn Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Dame Vera Lynn was known as the Forces' Sweetheart during her World War Two heyday

Dame Vera Lynn has used her 103rd birthday to call on the British public to find "moments of joy" during these "hard times".

The London-born singer marked the special occasion with a new video for her wartime classic We'll Meet Again.

It features archive footage of her performing the anthem alongside new visuals, and words tackling current themes such as the Covid-19 outbreak.

In the video, she urges the nation to "keep smiling and keep singing”.

Dame Vera says in a voiceover: “We are facing a very challenging time at the moment, and I know many people are worried about the future.

“I’m greatly encouraged that despite these struggles, we have seen people joining together.

“Music is so good for the soul, and during these hard times we must all help each other to find moments of joy."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption One of Vera Lynn's most famous songs, We'll Meet Again, was released in 1939

Dame Vera, who lives in Ditchling, East Sussex, is best known for performing for the troops during World War Two in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.

Her famous songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There’ll Always Be An England.

In another video message on Wednesday, Dame Vera called for people to pull together during a trying period.

“All around the world, people are facing extremely difficult times. It is likely that we will all have to make hard decisions in the coming months," she said.

“I am reminded of World War Two, 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 that joined as one right across the world.”

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