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Monday, February 6th, 2023

Journalist who broke news of WWII dies

British journalist Clare Hollingworth, known as the first person to report on the start of World War II, celebrates her 105th birthday in Hong Kong.

Tributes are pouring in for Clare Hollingworth following her death in Hong Kong, aged 105. Picture: Anthony Wallace.

VETERAN British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth, who broke the news that World War II had started, has died aged 105.

Family friend Cathy Hilborn Feng confirmed to AFP that Hollingworth had died in Hong Kong on Tuesday, which had been her home for more than 30 years.

The family released a short statement on the Facebook page “Celebrate Clare Hollingworth”.

“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,” the statement read.

Hollingworth witnessed the horrors of war in Vietnam, Algeria, the Middle East, India and Pakistan, as well as the Cultural Revolution in China.

But she is best remembered for her scoop on the outbreak of World War II in 1939, when she was just a rookie reporter.

She broke the story of Germany’s invasion of Poland during her first week working as a journalist there for The Daily Telegraph.

The paper’s editor, Chris Evans, called Hollingworth a “remarkable journalist”, saying she had been “an inspiration to all reporters but in particular to subsequent generations of women foreign correspondents”.

He added: “She will always be revered by all of us at The Telegraph. Our sympathies to her friends and family.”

Hollingworth in October had celebrated her 105th birthday at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, where she had been a regular.

“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,” said the FCC’s president, Tara Joseph.