Sheffield's own Dame Vera Lynn tribute artist remembers ‘Forces Sweetheart’ after death aged 103
With songs such as ‘We'll Meet Again’ and ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’, Dame Vera Lynn inspired both troops abroad and civilians at home during the Second World War and became fondly known as the Forces’ Sweetheart.
She sadly passed away this morning, June 18, surrounded by close family at her home in East Sussex.
Award-winning tribute artist Lorrie Brown, from Owlthorpe, has been performing as the legendary wartime singer for 25 years and expressed her devastation over the news, describing Dame Vera as an “inspiration” and an “icon”.
Remembering the Forces Sweetheart, Lorrie said: “She was just so real and what an inspiration to everyone all through the years. Even now her songs, they mean so much now as they did back in the war and I don’t think she’ll ever be forgotten. She’s one of Britain’s most iconic figures, she was what Britain is all about.”
Lorrie has raised more than £10,000 for The Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, for which she is an ambassador and holds collections when she sings.
Through her own fundraising and commitment to keeping the wartime great's songs alive, the award-winning tribute artist was also able to meet and form a close friendship with Dame Vera.
“I met Dame Vera five years ago and she couldn’t have been more lovely,” Lorrie reminisced. “We went to meet her at her house with her daughter and we spent three hours with her, talking about all she did in the war and how she had entertained the troops.
“Being a tribute you never know how people are going to react but she was just so lovely and thanked me for keeping her songs going and all the work I’ve done, telling me to not let children forget what happened in the war. She was just so normal and down to earth and such a lovely person. It was such an honour.
“She did so much for people in the war but also in recent years as well – she was really heavily involved in charities, with the British Legion and her Vera Lynn Children’s Charity. We’ve truly lost somebody great.”
Given the current restrictions, Lorrie is unable to perform as Dame Vera Lynn but is hoping to put on a special commemorative concert to honour the ‘We’ll Meet Again’ star once it is safe to do so.