US/World News

WWII singer Vera Lynn, who performed for Jewish refugees, dies at 103

(JTA) – Vera Lynn, a British singer who performed at benefit concerts for Jewish refugees in the years leading up to World War II, died June 18 at the age of 103. Lynn, whose late husband, Harry Lewis, was Jewish, is best known for the iconic song “We’ll Meet Again.” Other hits included “The White Cliffs Of Dover” and “There’ll Always Be An England.”

Lynn played her benefit concerts in the United Kingdom for refugees from the Kindertransports – groups of Jewish children whose parents sent them away to safety in the U.K. from continental Europe. One of those refugees said Lynn was “one of the few artists to do a show” for that cause. “She was singing with the Ambrose Orchestra and took part in a charity show to raise funds to get them out of Germany,” magician David Berglas said in a 2017 interview with The Guardian. “I thank her from the bottom of my heart – because I was one of those children.” Lynn performed with the orchestra, named for Bert Ambrose, a British-Jewish violinist, for three years and met her clarinetist husband there. Lewis died in 1998.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a statement said that Lynn’s “charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours” and “will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.”

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