The 92-year-old has now usurped Bob Dylan as the oldest artist to grace the number one position after her album We’ll Meet Again – The Very Best of Vera Lynn went straight to the top of the charts.
Her album outsold artists including the Arctic Monkeys, Jamie T and the Kings of Leon, and beat The Beatles’ much-hyped remastered editions.
The Fab Four occupied the 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 21st, 24th, 29th, 31st, 33rd, 37th and 38th spots, according to the Official Charts Company.
It is 70 years to the month since Dame Vera, then 22, visited the Decca studios and first recorded We’ll Meet Again in 1939.
The wartime forces sweetheart said: “I am extremely surprised and delighted, and a big ‘thank you’ to all my fans for putting me there.”
Speaking from France, where she is on holiday, she said she had treated her recent chart success with “astonishment after all these years”.
HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo said the fact The Beatles albums went on sale late in the week damaged their chances of a number one.
He said: “We’ve seen huge demand for the remastered Beatles albums since Wednesday, but sales have been spread across all the releases, especially the box sets.
“The fact they were only out for four days also seems to have counted against their prospects of a number one.
“This has left the door open for Dame Vera, whose album has been selling consistently in recent weeks and has been steadily growing in demand, to top this week’s chart.
“It’s a really lovely surprise, that nobody could have imagined a few weeks ago, and it’s ironic that it’s taken one revered British icon to block the historic return of another to the top of the charts.”