‘Forces Sweetheart’ Dame Vera Lynn writes heartfelt letter

Rita Hardiman (left) and Nicki Bell (right).

The nation’s most iconic ‘forces sweetheart’ Dame Vera Lynn has personally written to the team and residents at a Sanctuary Care home in Stourport-on-Severn.


When the veteran singer celebrated her centenary recently, among the many gifts she received was a beautiful handmade card crafted by Ravenhurst Residential Care Home’s care assistant Nicki Bell and a beautiful poem written by the home’s resident poet Rita Hardiman.


Nicki and Rita were overwhelmed when they received something unexpected back in the post – a letter from Dame Vera Lynn thanking them for their “kind words” and signed photographs and postcards of the nation’s favourite sweetheart.


The letter from the singer, who is best known for White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again, said she felt “very touched” to receive the card and poem, saying the duo were “both clearly very talented”.


Rita, who is 71 years old said: “I was thrilled when we heard from such a busy lady like Dame Vera – I think she’s a wonderful lady and I was delighted to write a poem for her birthday.”


Nicki added: “It was a pleasure to make the card and it was lovely to receive a reply back from her thanking us for our kind words.”


The poem written by Rita is enclosed below:



The Forces Sweetheart

Vera you sang in the war

Keeping the soldiers going

With your songs so well known

                                                                                                             Your concern for them showing

You were the forces sweetheart

And loved by everyone

Encouraging all the men

So the battles could be won

There’ll be blue birds over

The White Cliffs of Dover

Became a special anthem

For every British soldier

Then many years later

You became a top 10 hit

Surprisingly at over 90

You had a second success with it

We live in a care home

And all know of you

The words of your lovely songs

Are remembered by quite a few

And now you’re one hundred

And from all of us here

 We send congratulations

Because we hold you very dear



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