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Dame Vera Lynn said she was surprised her popular Forces Sweetheart label stayed with her for so many years. She said in 2014: “I never thought the Forces’ Sweetheart tag would stay with me, but it has, hasn’t it?
“I thought it would last for the war period, then I’d just be another singer.
“Of course I’ve never minded that everybody always connects me with that time. It was so important.”
Dame Vera was dubbed the Forces Sweetheart after serenading British troops during World War Two.
The singer voluntarily sang for troops fighting in Egypt, India and Burma in 1944. Other performers at the time regularly appeared in Europe.
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“I chose it for that reason I wanted to go where no one else went, where it was most needed,” she added to Radio Times.
Today, the We’ll Meet Again singer’s private funeral will be held at the Woodvale Crematorium.
Police will also close roads for her cortège in Ditchling, the East Sussex village, where she lived for 50 years.
A flypast, consisting of a Spitfire and a Hurricane, will take place at midday.
Dame Vera sold more than a million records by the age of 22.
She is widely remembered for her hits We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs Of Dover.
Her other hits include There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You and Wishing and If Only I Had Wings.
Dame Vera’s family announced the news of her death last month.
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Their 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.”
Vera released a new video for her hit song We’ll Meet Again back in March, in celebration of her 103rd birthday.
The new film included a reassuring voiceover from her to UK citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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She said: “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.”
Tributes flooded in for the late singer on social media shortly after her death.
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