Dame Vera Lynn says 'keep smiling and keep singing' as she turns 103

Julia Hunt
Dame Vera Lynn photographed at home in Ditchling, East Sussex, UK, 1990. (Andrew Hasson/Photoshot/Getty Images)

Dame Vera Lynn has urged the nation to “keep smiling and keep singing” as she celebrates her 103rd birthday.

The Forces’ Sweetheart marked the March 20 milestone by unveiling a new video to her much-loved song We’ll Meet Again, which was originally released in 1939.

She also shared a special message with her fans.

The message was recorded at the English singer’s home and sees her reference the coronavirus pandemic, as she reminds people that music “is so good for the soul”.

Read more: Dame Vera Lynn urges people to ‘rediscover spirit that saw us through the war’

Dame Vera, who was hugely popular during the Second World War, said: “We are facing a very challenging time at the moment, and I know many people are worried about the future.

Dame Vera Lynn attends a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

“I’m greatly encouraged that despite these struggles we have seen people joining together.

“They are supporting one another, reaching into the homes of their neighbours by offering assistance to the elderly and sending messages of support and singing into the streets.”

The star – who was born in Essex in 1917 - went on: “Music is so good for the soul, and during these hard times we must all help each other to find moments of joy.”

“Keep smiling and keep singing,” she urged.

Read more: Dame Vera Lynn to release new album

The new video features original archive footage of Dame Vera performing the popular song, alongside new visuals.

Dame Vera’s other songs include My Son, My Son and The White Cliffs Of Dover.