The late Dame Vera Lynn - widely mourned following her death this week - was no stranger to Windsorwrites Derek Hunt.

The singer who became known as the Forces Sweetheart after recording such famous songs as We’ll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover and There’ll Always be an England gave concerts for the troops across the UK and as far afield as India and Burma.

But she also sang for the troops at Combermere Barracks in Windsor on May 4, 1945 - four days before VE Day, appearing alongside some of the other biggest names in entertainment including Tommy Trinder and Arthur Askey in the presence of the king and queen.

Three years earlier she was among the stars performing at a 16th birthday party for the then Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.

The young princess had just been appointed Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and inspected the regiment in the Quadrangle before the dance in the evening where Dame Vera sang.

At the time, Vera Lynn was the leading star at the Empire Theatre, Sunderland and her appearance at Windsor meant the performance there was cancelled that night.

When asked about performing at the princess' birthday party she told a newspaper: “Thrilled? I just think I am, and so would anyone to be invited to a real Princess’s birthday celebration at the great Windsor Castle.”

She later added that singing before royalty was worth the two nights spent in the train to Windsor.

Dame Vera returned to the town in 2009 at the age of 92 when she appeared at the Theatre Royal in An Audience with Vera Lynn as part of the Windsor Festival.

The Queen has sent a private message of condolence to Dame Vera's family.

*Dame Vera Lynn CH DBE OStJ, died on Thursday, June 18 at her home in Ditchling, East Sussex, aged 103. Born in March 1917, she had been performing since she was seven and in 1935, aged 18, she made her first radio broadcast with the Joe Loss Orchestra. Her popularity continued throughout her life and in 2017 she released an album Vera Lynn at 100, making her the oldest recording artist in the world to have an album in the charts.

Derek Hunt is a local author and historian. He is writing Windsor in the Second World War with Dr Brigitte Mitchell. If anyone has any further information about Vera Lynn coming to Windsor during the Second World War, Derek can be contacted at