UK

Clare Hollingworth's 'Scoop Of The Century', Revealing Outbreak Of WWII, Re-Published As Journalist Dies

War correspondent was a 27-year-old junior reporter at the time.

10/01/2017 22:02 GMT

The Daily Telegraph has re-published the ‘scoop of the century’ to mark the death of Clare Hollingworth, the war correspondent who broke the news of the outbreak of the Second World War.

Her story detailing the Nazi invasion of Poland - under the headline “1,000 tanks massed on Polish border. Ten divisions reported ready for swift strike” - was broken after the reporter spotted German forces amassed on the Polish border while travelling from Poland to Germany in 1939.

Ms Hollingworth, a 27-year-old junior reporter at the time, broke the news three days ahead of the invasion.

The scoop did not carry her byline, a common practice for newspapers at the time. Ms Hollingworth died in Hong Kong on Tuesday, age 105.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) of Hong Kong said:

“The FCC is very sad to announce the passing of its much beloved member Clare Hollingworth at age 105.

”Clare had a remarkable career as a foreign correspondent, beginning with the scoop of the century when she reported the start of World War II.”

Tara Joseph, president of the FCC, 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.”

United News/Popperfoto via Getty Images
Clare Hollingworth in 1985.

Telegraph editor Chris Evans 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.”

Details of the funeral arrangements and a wake at the club will be announced later.

Ms Hollingworth, born in Leicester, lived in Hong Kong for the last 40 years after working from Beijing in the 1970s.

She spent much of her career reporting for newspapers in the UK on major conflicts around the world.

It was in 1939, as a rookie reporter in Poland, that she got her major scoop.

After borrowing a diplomat’s car she drove into German-held territory where she saw tanks, artillery and armoured cars.

When the Nazis launched their invasion in September she informed her newspaper and British diplomats, holding the telephone out of the window so they could hear it for themselves.

Kin Cheung/AP
Clare Hollingworth surrounded by friends and admirers at her birthday party at Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club in October.