Carlisle's Royal British Legion pays tribute to Dame Vera Lynn

The Royal British Legion, in Carlisle, has paid tribute to Dame Vera Lynn who has died at the age of 103.

The Forces' Sweetheart, who entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the front line during the Second World War, passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Tony Parrini, Secretary of the Carlisle and Stanwix Branch of the Royal British Legion, said: "She just brought people together.

"Her voice made people think of home. That it would be all be over. That there were blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover.

"One of the recent great tributes to her was when the Queen finished her broadcast about the coronavirus. She used the term 'and yes we will meet again' - a direct tribute to her."

The Royal British Legion was once described by Dame Vera as "a wonderful institution".

In a statement, the group said she was "an unforgettable British icon, symbol of hope to the Armed Forces community past and present, and much loved longstanding Legion supporter."

Tony describes the time he attended a remembrance service at the Royal Albert Hall, and Dame Vera Lynn was sitting in the audience.

He said: "The commentator acknowledged her presence. There was almost a standing ovation for her. It just brought everybody together [to show] their appreciation for what she did for the servicemen of this country."

A statement released on Thursday morning said: "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."

Credit: PA

Dame Vera rose to popularity while performing for troops during the war in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.

Her best-known songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There’ll Always Be An England - and, of course, We'll Meet Again.

She had her own television show and toured the world - and remained an outspoken supporter of military veterans throughout her life.

Dame Veracelebrated her 103rd birthday in March - releasing a video calling for the British public to find "moments of joy" during these "hard times".