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Remembering the time Dame Vera Lynn gave the sweetest surprise to an LGBT+ choir during Pride

Reiss Smith June 18, 2020
Dame Vera Lynn smiling

Dame Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103. (Getty/Shaun Curry)

Dame Vera Lynn, the Force’s Sweetheart, has died at the age of 103.

Dame Vera Lynn passed away Thursday morning (June 18) surrounded by close family, a statement confirmed.

The singer, born March 20, 1917, will be remembered for her efforts during World War II, when she would frequently gave concerts to boost soldiers’ morale.

Her most famous song, “We’ll Meet Again”, remains a staple part of British culture, with even the Queen referencing its lyrics during a rare address to the nation back in April.

“It’s a good song as it goes with anyone anywhere saying goodbye to someone,” Dame Vera once said.

Dame Vera Lynn once made a surprise appearing at Brighton Pride.

In 2009, aged 92, the singer was a surprise guest at Brighton and Hove Pride.

She attended the annual celebrations to cheer on the Brighton and Hove Actually Gay Men’s Chorus, who were performing to raise money for her charitable trust, as well as Blind Veterans UK.

Dorie Steward, one of the first female allied officers to arrive in Europe after VE day, was set to join the choir on stage as their special guest.

Unbeknown to the choir, Vera, a resident of East Sussex unit her death, had decided to join her friend.

“What the boys didn’t know was that Dorie would bring her friend, Dame Vera Lynn to the concert,” said Alan Baser, Chair of Actually Gay Men’s Chorus.

“Her presence certainly made the boys stand that little bit taller!

“She was very gracious and provided some lovely feedback to the boys.”

Dame Vera Lynn at Brighton Pride.
Dame Vera Lynn at Brighton Pride.

After Dame Vera Lynn’s death, tributes poured in.

Miriam Margolyes said: “Dame Vera never lost her reality.

“The voice like a bell was a gift, which she shared so generously and bravely.

“But the magic was that her personality was genuine, open, warm. Meeting her was one of the high points of my life.

“She looked at you and saw you. And connected. There is no one in our lives, except The Queen, who had the power to connect a nation.
For that, she will be remembered and always with love.”

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