Ashes scattered 37 years after war correspondent's first "death"

Ashes scattered 37 years after war correspondent's first "death"Wellington  - The ashes of New Zealand-born war correspondent Kate Webb were scattered on Wellington Harbour Tuesday, 37 years after she first read her death notices in the world's newspapers.

Webb, who was widely regarded as one of the most remarkable women in her field, died a year ago in Australia of bowel cancer, aged 64. Her family had already held a memorial service for her in 1971 after the first death notices appeared following her capture by North Vietnamese troops in Cambodia.

It was assumed she had been taken by the Khmer Rouge, who usually killed their prisoners, and obituaries were published after reports that a white woman's body with bullet wounds had been found in a shallow grave.

But Webb appeared out of the jungle after 23 days, survived malaria she caught during captivity, and continued her career, covering wars in Vietnam and Iraq (1990-91), the Tamil Tiger uprising in Sri Lanka, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and reporting in Pakistan, East Timor, the Philippines, Korea, India, and Nepal.

A role model for other women who entered the previously male-dominated field of war reporting, her last big story was the collapse of Indonesian President Suharto's regime in 1998. She retired to Australia in 2001.

Webb never married and said home was where she hung her hat but asked for her ashes to be scattered on the harbour of her homeland's capital.

Her sister, Rachel Miller, and brother, Jeremy Webb, performed that act on the first anniversary of her death, observed by family members and four New Zealand correspondents who also reported from Vietnam when she was there - David Barber, Derek Round, Nick Turner and Chris Turver. (dpa)