Dame Vera Margaret Lynn (née Welch; born 20 March 1917) is an English singer of traditional popular music, songwriter and actress, whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during the Second World War.
She is widely known as "the Forces' Sweetheart" for giving outdoor concerts for the troops in Egypt, India, and Burma during the war as part of Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). The songs most associated with her are "We'll Meet Again", "The White Cliffs of Dover", "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "There'll Always Be an England".
She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the UK and the US and recording such hits as "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" and her UK number one single "My Son, My Son". Her last single, "I Love This Land", was released to mark the end of the Falklands War. In 2009, at age 92, she became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums Chart, with compilation album We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn. Lynn also scored a number one in 2014, when she was 97, with the collection Vera Lynn: National Treasure, and remains the oldest person to top the album charts. Further, she released the compilation album of hits Vera Lynn 100 in 2017, to commemorate her centennial year, and it was a number-3 hit, making her the first centenarian performer to have an album in the charts.
She has devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children, and breast cancer. She is held in great affection by veterans of the Second World War and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the 20th century.
She is also known as Vera Margaret Welch.