Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A World War II British Sweetheart


A few days ago I was listening to the “BBC America” broadcast and was surprised when I heard the lilting strains of “The White Cliffs of Dover”. I closed my eyes and traveled back in memory to the late 1940's. I couldn't remember the name of the singer but I remembered every word of that song.
Some of you long-time blogger friends may remember that my family and I lived just outside of Boston and during those final years of WWII we entertained British sailors who came in to the Boston Naval Yard for repairs on their boats. They would come out for the weekends and some of them became like family and we've stayed in touch. Here are a few pictures of the many that we hosted … including one of me at age 10 !
As I continued to listen to the broadcast I found that the BBC was honoring the 100th birthday of Vera Lynn. She was the singer who gave the troops hope for a better world and they called her “The Forces Sweetheart”.
Now she is Dame Vera Lynn and, besides living to the ripe old age of 100, she is also releasing a new compilation album, “Vera Lynn 100”. It makes her the first singer to ever do that as a centenarian.


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Well done, Vera. Such a treasure!

Such a little sweetie, Ginnie!

7:20 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

What handsome young men. I'll bet you had some king sized 10 year old crushes.

2:47 PM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

How neat....:)

6:46 PM  
Blogger joared said...

Though I wasn't British, one of the songs I remembered with such affection from those years when I was quite young was Whit Cliffs of Dover -- so hauntingly beautiful to me.

1:41 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Our ex-pat British neighbor used to blare her in the backyard periodically. I quite enjoyed it.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I was not familiar with Vera Lynn, but will certainly be looking her up online thanks to your post, Ginnie. And, what memories you have of hosting the British.

10:50 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Went to youtube to hear it. Did not remember it at all, but it was actually before I was born - imagine that! However, along with the Vera Lynn listing were recordings of Jo Stafford, and I do remember her from my childhood. I made a CD of her music for my Aunt K a few years ago. One of my favorites was All the Things You Are................ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_yzmsiQqFA

We used to have GIs come to dinner with us on holidays when we lived in Turkey. I know it meant a lot to them. It was a great thing your family did for those Brit boys.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

(for some reason NCMountainwoman's comment doesn't want to publish so here it is: Ginnie)

My parents had many 78 rpm records of those wonderful WWII songs. I learned them at an early age and still love them. I even bought a retro record player so I can play them. How wonderful that your family gave those young men a taste of home.

12:48 PM  

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