Virginia Lewis-Jones

Keep Smiling Through
  • Keep Smiling Through

  • In the year of her 100th birthday, Dame Vera Lynn's fascinating and life-affirming wartime memoir from the forces' sweetheart's of her adventures entertaining the troops in far-flung Burma.

    'I was just twenty-seven years old when I went to Burma. It was an experience that changed my life for ever. Up until that time I had not really travelled anywhere at all, apart from one touring visit to Holland with a band I was singing with before the war, and I had certainly never been in an aeroplane. But I wanted to make a difference, to do my bit.'

    And she did.

    Written with her daughter, Virginia Lewis-Jones this is a powerful and life-affirming account of the time she spent with troops in wartime Burma. Based, in part on a diary she kept, alongside unpublished personal letters and photographs from surviving veterans and their families, it explores why it was such a life-defining event for her and shows how her presence helped the soldiers, airmen and others who heard her sing.

Virginia Lewis-Jones is Dame Vera Lynn’s daughter. She was born in 1946 and for a time accompanied her mother on tour as her dresser. She has had many careers including working in a fashion house, working for Warner Bros Records in California and as a researcher at the BBC. She was at the BBC for many years and worked on various shows including Parkinson, Crackerjack and the royal concerts. She later trained as a complementary therapist in reflexology and holistic massage with aromatherapy, and has her own complementary therapy business alongside running her mother’s music company. She is also the vice-president of the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity. She lives in Ditchling, East Sussex with her husband Tom, who is a retired RAF pilot, and her mother.

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