She wrote about the refugees' plight in small British publications and The Telegraph hired her as a correspondent for the region.
Three days after being hired, on August 28, she commandeered an official car from the British consul general and drove over the border into Nazi Germany. Thanks to an old but still valid German visa she’d gotten for a ski vacation, she was able to enter Germany and shepherd refugees to Poland and then on to safety.
At age 27, on her return trip, a gust of wind led her to the scoop of a lifetime. The wind lifted part
of a tarp which had been erected to hide the German side of a valley from view. Through the gap, as Hollingworth later wrote, she saw “large numbers of troops, literally hundreds of tanks, armored cars and field guns."
She knew immediately that Germany was preparing to invade Poland and she hurried back to send the news to her editor. Hollingworth's article, a world exclusive, was published on August 29; German forces invaded Poland on September 1, marking the start of WWII.
Hollingworth worked as a correspondent for British news throughout WWII
except for a period in 1943, when General Montgomery banned British women correspondents from the front lines; undeterred, she took a job with the Chicago Daily News covering Dwight D. Eisenhower’s command in Algiers. In reflecting on that period in one of her books, she observed, "It was essential to be able to go without washing, sleep in the open desert and live on bully-beef and biscuits for days on end. Many male correspondents got themselves sent back to Cairo because they could not take it.”
When Hollingworth turned 100, her eyesight failing but her vigor unabated, she was asked what she would do if she were young. “I should look through the papers and say, ‘Where’s the most dangerous place to go?’ because it always makes a good story.”
Claire Hollingworth died January 10, 2017 at the age of 105.
Follow Garrick Allen, my Crimean war correspondent in Lady Gallant. Along with Nurse Josephine Posey they fight to save the soldiers and each other.
Disowned by her father and still mourning the death of her fiancé, Josephine Posey joins Florence Nightingale’s brigade of nurses bound for the Black Sea. Thousands of British soldiers desperately await these angels of mercy and a new life awaits Josie. Amidst the chaos of death and despair, she finds a spark of hope, lighting the flame once more inside her soul.
In search of the truth, Garrick Allen, one of Britain’s first war correspondents also journeys to the Crimean Peninsula. To him the soldiers seem all but abandoned by Queen and country, and as he smokes his cheroots and makes friends with a bottle, he writes his bold but honest dispatches for The Times. Not wanting anything more than to finish his job and go home, Garrick is blind-sided by a nurse with attitude who offers him a new slant on life and a reason to love.
Only $2.99 at...Amazon.com
Books at Amazon
Books at The Wild Rose Press