Pioneering war reporter 'an inspiration' to all women in journalism

For decades members of venerable Foreign Correspondent's Club of Hong Hong speculated that Clare Hollingworth, the correspondent who broke news of  World War II, may have been immortal.

She sat in a corner at "Clare's table" near photographs of the Vietnam War, sometimes banging her cane on the floor for attention.

"We are sad to announce that after an illustrious career spanning a century of news, celebrated war correspondent Clare Hollingworth died this evening in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the Celebrating Clare Hollingworth group said in statement on Facebook on Tuesday. She was 105.

In August 1939, aged 27, Hollingworth crossed the Polish-German frontier in a borrowed British diplomat's car, bought some batteries and wine at a local shop and then while driving back noticed General Gerd von Rundstedt's Wehrmacht tanks, in their thousands, lined up to invade Poland.

"Tens divisions reported ready for swift strike," read the headline on her scoop on page one of the London Telegraph.

"Everywhere I saw signs of the most intense military activity," she wrote.

Hollingworth had been working at the Telegraph for less than a week.

"I wasn't frightened. I broke this story when I was very, very young," she said in an interview in 2014.

Hollingworth's colleagues say she was an inspiration to foreign correspondents and all women in journalism.

She reported from Poland, Germany, Algeria, Beirut, India, Israel and China.

"I enjoy action," she once said. "I enjoy being in a plane when they're bombing something."

Hollingworth's greatest post-war scoop came in 1963 when she was working for the Guardian in Beirut.

She filed that her colleague on The Economist and The Observer Kim Philby had defected to Moscow.

The Guardian sat on the story of a decade for three months.

Last year Robert Fisk, another British war correspondent, asked Hollingworth about the future of newspapers.

"Newspapers will all end up on computer," she replied, adding this was a bad thing.

"You have to feel the paper."

The story Pioneering war reporter 'an inspiration' to all women in journalism first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

Gippsland Senior
More coming soon!!!
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide