Vera Lynn was born on March 20, 1917, in East Ham, Essex, into a working-class family outside London. Her father was a plumber, and her natural accent, only temporarily modified while she was a star, was Cockney. Her mother was Annie Welch, a dressmaker.
Vera began singing at men’s clubs by age seven. These clubs, no longer functioning, were of great significance in the working-class neighborhoods from the later decades of the 19th century. At 11 she assumed her grandmother’s maiden name (Lynn) and joined Madame Harris’s Kracker Kabaret Kids, a singing troupe.