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Dame Vera Lynn has paid tribute to “the old British spirit” as she recalled her wartime experiences...

Award-winning Forces' Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn remembers the 'old British spirit'

By 18:28:00

Dame Vera Lynn has paid tribute to “the old British spirit” as she recalled her wartime experiences as “the Forces’ Sweetheart”.

The much-loved singer has been recognised by the Soldiering On Awards for her outstanding contribution to the morale of servicemen and women during the Second World War, and their families back home.

Dame Vera, 99, is also being celebrated for the charity work she undertook after the war, in particular her continued support for the Armed Forces community.

Presented with her award by BBC Radio 2′s Jeremy Vine, she told him about the “moving experience” of meeting veteran Second World War soldiers.

“They brought back so many memories from their chums that they were stationed with who probably hadn’t got back home.”

Dame Vera added: “It was quite a moving experience really. But the old British spirit was very high and made the best of everything.”

Born in London, Dame Vera was 21 at the outbreak of war. She thought her blossoming singing career was over and that she would end up in a munitions factory.

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