The journalist who broke the news of WWII Nazi invasion has died: Here's what you should know about Clare Hollingworth's incredible life
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If you’re not aware of Hollingworth’s incredible story, here’s everything you should know. How did she become a journalist? Born in Leicester in 1911, Hollingworth had a fascination with war, which she credited to her father and being taken on tours of famous battlefields – Naseby and Market Bosworth – during school holidays. Her appetite for foreign journalism was brought to life after a chance encounter with the Daily Telegraph editor in the summer of 1939, and the rookie found herself in her first job in journalism. Why is she known as having the “scoop of the century”?
Veteran Foreign Correspondent Clare Hollingworth has died at the age of 105, says the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong. pic.twitter.com/RX4iEp9XXz— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) January 10, 2017
In August 1939, she was 27 and just three days into working as a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in Poland, when she spotted German forces amassed on the Polish border. She borrowed a diplomat’s car and drove into German-held territory, where she saw tanks, artillery and armoured cars. When the Nazis launched their invasion that September she informed her newspaper and British diplomats. Her first-hand testimony saw her scoop the world. The Daily Telegraph headline read “1,000 tanks massed on Polish border. Ten divisions reported ready for swift stroke”. However, she received no byline. Hollingworth said that the British embassy in Warsaw was so disbelieving of her account that she was forced to hold her telephone receiver out of her hotel window in Katowice for the diplomat to hear the Wehrmacht for himself. But that’s not the only incredible thing she did around that time, is it?
How’s this for a first-week scoop? RIP Clare Hollingworth. pic.twitter.com/O2KiMVXl5e— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) January 10, 2017
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Chris Evans, The Telegraph’s editor, said: “Clare Hollingworth was a remarkable journalist, an inspiration to all reporters but in particular to subsequent generations of women foreign correspondents. “She will always be revered by all of us at The Telegraph. Our sympathies to her friends and family.” Tara Joseph, president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, added: “We are very sad to hear about Clare’s passing. She was a tremendous inspiration to us all and a treasured member of our club. We were so pleased that we could celebrate her 105th birthday with her this past year.” And what about Hollingworth’s personal life? She married twice – first to writer Vandeleur Robinson, the second time to Times journalist Geoffrey Hoare, and became stepmother to his daughter. She dismissed the thought of having children of her own, instead wanting to devote her time to work. She was posted to China in 1973, and spent the rest of her career in Asia – she moved to Hong Kong in the 1980s where she spent her final days, whiling away time at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, where she would fix a pair of headphones to her ears and tune in to BBC broadcasts.
This is outstanding. Had no idea about any of this. Her first week! pic.twitter.com/fG7waNtu6x— Tom Peck (@tompeck) January 10, 2017