The British woman who told us WW11 had begun dies aged 105

I know none of you would have heard of this woman but Clare Hollingworth had broke the news that German troops were poised to invade Poland and the start of WW11.

In 1936 she found herself in Warsaw distributing aid to the refugees who had fled from the Sudetenland, the Czech territory occupied by the Nazis.In this tension the border between Poland and Germany was sealed to all but diplomatic vehicles. After borrowing a car from the British consul , she drove through the exclusion zone into Germany proudly displaying the union jack flag on the car.

While driving back to Poland, having purchased wine, torches and as much film as possible. she passed a valley in which huge hessian screens had been erected. As the wind blew one of the screens back, it revealed thousands of troops, together with tanks and artillery, all facing the Polish border.

Three days later, she saw the German tanks rolling into Poland But when she phoned the secretary at the British Embassy in Warsaw, he told her it could not be true as negotiations between Britain and Germany were still continuing. She hung the phone out the window so he could listen to the tanks.

Working on her own, often behind enemy lines with nothing more than a toothbrush and a typewriter, she witnessed the collapse of Poland.

She spent her time in a busy war in Cairo,Turkey and Greece, although a bespectacled woman she was as tough as nails, learnt to fy and made several parachute jumps.

After the war she spent her time in the middle east, and was in the Kind David Hotel in Jerusalem when it was bombed by the Jewish terroist Menachem Begin, who was the Irgun leader. Ironic that after the war where allies freed the jew, were to end up killing British troops to get the British out of the state of Israel. Menachem eventually became the Prime minister of Israel and won the nobel peace crime does pay !

Comments (5)

Hollingworth reported on many crises including the Vietnam war, she was one of the first journalists to predict that American military muscle would not prevail and that statement was inevitable.

She made a special effort to speak to the Vietnamese civilians, away from the watching eyes of the US PR people, to ensure she accurately captured views of those who were suffering !

She spent her final years from 1981 in her adopted country of Hong Kong where she died.

Heres to a courageous woman who's reporting was clear, precise and the truth... cheers
Can't hang about but will read this later ....

But just to say Irelands oldest woman died only a few weeks ago, aged 108, she was a Galway woman ...
our now oldest woman is aged 105, I'd say she'll live many more years yet to come, she's got God on her side.... she's a nun.


gotta go
A phenomenal woman I can see.
Alot of heroes/heroine will never be spoken.thumbs up
Radio 2 was playing one of her last interviews tonight as I drove home. Wow. What a life, and she seems to have enjoyed it, too, even the tough bits. She broke later stories as well during the Cold War.

No sad flower - she was amazing bouquet
Interesting story. Sounds like Hollingworth was quite an amazing lady. Thanks for the very interesting blog Ian, thumbs up
Cheekyg1t: "sarcasm welcome!"(meet us in the profile reviews)

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