Tributes pour in as forces' sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn dies at the age of 103

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CANADA - AUGUST 25:  Dame Vera Lynn; morale booster of Allied servicemen during World War II; brought the memories flooding back to 17;000 sentimental souls at her concert in the CNE Grandstand last night. She was joined in the nostalgia party by those harum-scarum Irish Rove   (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Dame Vera Lynn brought the memories flooding back to 17;000 sentimental souls at her concert in the CNE Grandstand (Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Tributes have poured in for Dame Vera Lynn after the forces’ sweetheart died at the age of 103.

The We'll Meet Again singer’s family announced the news in a statement, saying they were “deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers”.

Esther Rantzen was among those to pay tribute, calling Dame Vera “a very remarkable human being”.

Speaking on This Morning, she said: “Her voice was as true as a bell, right up to the end of her life.”

Read more: In pictures - the life of Dame Vera Lynn

“She had the same integrity in her personality, she had a natural dignity but she was never too grand,” she added.

British singer Vera Lynn, who 70 years ago recorded an evocative reminder of home for British soldiers fighting far away, attends the 2009 Women of the Year Awards lunch, in central London, Monday Oct. 12, 2009. The singer, 92, who in September became the oldest living artist to have a No. 1 record in Britain, received the Women of the Year's Lifetime Achievement Award. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Dame Vera Lynn (AP)

Good Morning Britain star Piers Morgan tweeted:Oh no.... what terribly sad news.

“Dame Vera Lynn has died, aged 103. A magnificent woman who rallied our country when we most needed it.

“The Forces sweetheart. The Nation's sweetheart. RIP.”

Actor and comedian Stephen Fry said: “The bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover and the nightingales in Berkeley Square are singing you to your final rest, Dame Vera – quite a life, sleep well...”

Tenor Alfie Boe said the singer was a “national treasure”, adding: “This is such sad news to hear, especially at this time when her iconic song and spirit touched the nation.

“It was a real pleasure to sing with her - an honour I will treasure forever.”

Singer Myleene Klass posted on Twitter: “Her voice and the hope she spread will never be forgotten but her humour, well, she was adorable.

“We once sat together at an event and she made me a deal, I’d go up and get the sausage rolls while she watched my handbag ‘as you can never be too careful Myleene’.”

There was also a message on Twitter from Captain Tom Moore, 100, who stole the nation’s hearts himself when he raised millions for the NHS by walking laps of his garden.

The post on his account said: “A message from Tom. ‘A real shame, I really thought Vera Lynn would live longer she’s been speaking so well on TV recently. She had a huge impact on me in Burma and remained important to me throughout my life. My thoughts are with Dame Vera Lynn's family at this sad time’.”

Boris Johnson was also among those to pay tribute.

The prime minister tweeted: “Dame Vera Lynn’s charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours.

“Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.”

Dame Vera was known as the ‘forces’ sweetheart’ for entertaining troops on the front line during the Second World War.

Earlier this year, she became the oldest artist to get a top 40 album in the UK when her greatest hits album re-entered the charts at number 30 around the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The singer is also remembered for singing The White Cliffs Of Dover, There'll Always Be An England, I'll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings.

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