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Forces' sweetheart Vera Lynn shown here entertaining troops at a concert in September 1940.

(Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

Dame Vera Lynn dies at 103: Her life in pictures

Forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn stirred the hearts of millions with songs and a personality that brought hope and inspiration during the darkest days of the Second World War.

Decades later her name is as enduring as that of Sir Winston Churchill as a figure who played a huge role in keeping up the spirits of a civilian population suffering under the Blitz and troops training at home and fighting overseas.

But her showbusiness career extended well beyond the war, as she entertained Britain right up to the end of her life.