When? they heard that she was a beautiful women both 友藏 and ヒロシ leaned forward.
I have no idea what the や in bold is. It seems like it ought to be とき, but I've never seen や used to mean 'when'.
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I think this や is closer to the phrase "as soon as" than "when". See the first definition (classified as 接助 = conjunctive particle) in this link. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/220994/meaning/m0u/%E3%82%84/
And this usage of や is very literary. I have not ever heard that in conversation.
や is short for やいなや which means "as soon as", "no sooner than".
So the translation becomes:
As soon as they heard that she was a beautiful woman