Clare Hollingworth, journalist who broke news of WW II dies aged 105

Clare Hollingworth, the veteran British war correspondent who broke the news of the Nazi invasion of Poland and the inception of the World War II, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105.

Clare Hollingworth, journalist who broke news of WW II dies aged 105

Clare Hollingworth, the veteran British war correspondent who broke the news of the Nazi invasion of Poland and the inception of the World War II, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105.

Hollingworth, who was born in Leicester in 1911, was the first to report on the invasion that triggered the outbreak of World War Two.

Hollingworth, the British foreign correspondent was just three days into her first journalism job when she landed the biggest scoop of her career.


Aged 27 and newly-hired by the Daily Telegraph, she was dispatched to Poland in August 1939 where she witnessed Nazi tanks gathering in their hundreds at the German-Polish border.

Her front page report, which ran without a byline, was headlined “1,000 tanks massed on Polish border. Ten divisions reported ready for swift strike” and broke the news of the outbreak of the second world war. It also heralded the start of an extraordinary career that saw Hollingworth report on many of the biggest stories of the 20th century.

Hollingworth’s important role in her profession continued long after that groundbreaking scoop. As well as writing five books, Hollingworth covered conflicts in Europe, North Africa and Asia for the Telegraph and the Guardian.

In 1973, Hollingworth became the first Beijing-based correspondent for the Telegraph, a position she held for three years, and later moved to Hong Kong in the 1980s as the Telegraph’s Southeast Asia correspondent. Until her death, Hollingworth lived in Hong Kong, in an apartment near the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC).

Her death was confirmed on Tuesday in a short family statement on the Facebook page Celebrate Clare Hollingworth. It read: “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.”

Before becoming a reporter, Hollingworth helped rescue thousands of people from Hitler's forces by arranging British visas.

Margo Stanyer, one of those she helped, remembered her on Tuesday as "a grand lady who was in the right place at the right time".