Rebecca Nelson, the official singer of the Royal New Zealand Navy band, is over the moon after receiving fan mail from legendary 100-year-old English singer Dame Vera Lynn.

She tweeted her delight after receiving a signed letter from Dame Vera, who was known as "the Forces' Sweetheart" for her role touring and singing for soldiers during World War II.

Her letter reads: "Thank you for your lovely letter and album.

"I have listened to a few of your songs and must commend you on your beautiful voice - you are truly talented.


"How wonderful that you now sing for the Navy in New Zealand.

"It sounds like an immensely rewarding position, and I wish you every success in the future."

England's Dame Vera Lynn, 100, was known as the Forces' Sweetheart.
England's Dame Vera Lynn, 100, was known as the Forces' Sweetheart.

Nelson's response: "Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself."

Nelson said she received the letter after writing to Dame Vera several months ago expressing her admiration and enclosing her own album, released in April.

Nelson's admiration for Dame Vera began only after she joined the Navy, she told the Herald.

"I started singing because of Julie Andrews and Shirley Jones in the musical theatre.

"It wasn't until I joined the forces that I realised what kind of singer I wanted to be."

She would love to meet the wartime singer, who recently released a new album shortly after her 100th birthday.


"I would get in touch if I went back over to the UK."

In the meantime, Nelson would head to Passchendaele to sing at commemoration services for the 100th anniversary of the battle later this year.

The Chief of the New Zealand Navy, Rear Admiral John Martin, tweeted in agreement, saying Nelson was a "national treasure".