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June 20 2020
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“Forces’ Sweetheart” Vera Lynn serves tea to servicemen in Trafalgar Square, 1942.

Long after the Second World War, a former naval officer wrote: “Whenever I hear Vera Lynn singing her wartime songs I am carried back to the heaving messdeck of a destroyer, and see again the tired men, the sea-sick, hushed and listening, some with trembling lips and moist eyes.”

Many people and events associated with the conflict are misrepresented or sentimentalised today, but there is no doubt of the vast, authentic popularity of the Forces’ Sweetheart, with her haunting mid-Atlantic tones.

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