Forces sweetheart

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Forces' Sweetheart was also a 1953 film.

Forces Sweetheart (or Forces' Sweetheart) is a title given to some entertainers in the British Armed Forces, mainly through the Entertainments National Service Association, although the term was also later used in the United States and other countries including Australia


The role had its origins in World War I. Lady Angela Forbes, (born 8 Grafton Street, Mayfair, London, on 11 June 1876, died on 22 October 1950 in Jersey), was the Forces Sweetheart at camp and a wartime catering organiser for the British army from November 1914.[1] The British Soldiers' Buffets, commonly known as Angelinas, met every train of wounded as it arrived and were often open 24 hours a day, and food never ran out.[2][3] Following her, Elsie Janis was called The Sweetheart of the AEF.

Sweethearts during World War II included Vera Lynn (now Dame Vera Lynn), whose singing ("(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" and "We'll Meet Again") brought great happiness to many in Britain; Gracie Fields; and Anne Shelton.[1]

Frances Langford, whose husband was assistant secretary of the United States Air Force under president Harry Truman, was "Singing Sweetheart of the Fighting Fronts" from World War II to the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Present-day sweethearts for the British forces include Nell McAndrew, Katherine Jenkins and Cheryl Cole.[1][4] In 2011, London drag queen Richard Rhodes became the first man to be awarded the title.[5]


  • Joanna Lumley. Forces Sweethearts.
  • Eric Taylor. Forces sweethearts: Service romances in World War II.
  • Chantelle Fiddy. My Life on the Front.


  1. ^ a b c "Sweetheart we love you!". Daily Express. Retrieved 30 December 2012
  2. ^ Lady Angela Selina Bianca St. Clair-Erskine Forbes. Memories and base details. G. H. Doran Co., 1922
  3. ^ Lady Cynthia Asquith: diaries, 1915–1918. Hutchinson, 1968
  4. ^ "Cole becomes Forces' sweetheart". Belfast Telegraph. 9 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Meet Cookie Monstar, forces sweetheart... and drag artist". Evening Standard. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2017-11-04. 

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