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, (1876-1950), 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 American Expeditionary Forces.

British sweethearts during World War II[edit]

Sweethearts during World War II included (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]

American and others[edit]

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. Lorrae Desmond, along with Little Patti was the forces's sweetheart in Australia when troops were stationed in Vietnam.

Current British Forces Sweethearts[edit]

Present-day sweethearts for the British forces include Nell McAndrew, Katherine Jenkins, Kirsten Orsborn, 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. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2017.

External links[edit]