Everyone at The Royal British Legion is incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Dame Vera Lynn.
Those who were privileged to know her recall the warmth of her eyes was equalled only by the beauty of her voice.
A true ‘forces sweetheart’, Dame Vera Lynn was a symbol of hope to the Armed Forces community, past and present, who brought joy to the hearts of millions of people during some of their darkest times.
The Royal British Legion, our members, and all within our community will forever be indebted to Dame Vera, not only for her tireless work on behalf of our charity, and many others, but for her passion, dedication and bravery in support of our Armed Forces. Dame Vera and our Armed Forces personnel, especially the Second World War generation, had a special relationship that was unique to them, she lifted their spirits, she gave them hope, and importantly she reminded them of home and the love that would be waiting for those fortunate enough to return.
Dame Vera was and continued to be a shining beacon of the stoicism that became so entrenched in the British war time spirit, giving people strength in adversity, and offering the simple encouragement to ‘keep smiling through’.
She lent her support to the Legion on many occasions, memorably helping to launch the Poppy Appeal in 1999 alongside the Spice Girls and again in 2009 with singer Hayley Westenra, and joining us to pay special tribute to our Second World War veterans, ‘her boys’ as she called them, for whom she means so much. She regularly attended the Festival of Remembrance, an event she enjoyed immensely, and took the time to meet with Serving members of the Armed Forces, family members and veterans alike.
Dame Vera holds a special place in the hearts of all of us here at the Legion. It is a privilege to have known and worked with her. She is a true British icon and inspiration, and will be missed dearly by the entire Armed Forces community.