By Lord Ashcroft
First published in The Royal British Legion magazine on 08 September 2020.
The film footage taken on 14 May 1944 is remarkable. It shows Dame Vera Lynn sitting on the driver’s footstep of an Army truck with troops of the Fourteenth Army in what was then India, close to the Burmese border.
Smiling and looking relaxed, wearing a WAAF cap and an officer’s tunic and shorts, she is seen chatting to British and Burmese Karen soldiers. In another clip from the same day, she signs autographs for Servicemen on pieces of paper and the rims of their slouch hats, worn for protection from the hot sun.
With her passing, we have lost a much-loved singer, songwriter and entertainer, who was a colossal inspiration during the Second World War. (more…)