London: A fitting memorial for legendary
World War II British secret agent Noor Inayat Khan, a
descendant of Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan, will be installed at
the Gordon Square here near the house where she lived and from
where she left on her last mission to France.
Noor, who was executed by Nazis at Dachau in Germany,
was posthumously awarded Britain`s top honour the George Cross
She was one of only three women agents recruited by
Britain`s Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret
organisation started by former British premier Winston
Noor was the first female radio operator to be sent to
Nazi-occupied France in 1943 and used the code name
She did invaluable work for the French Resistance.
Noor was captured by the Nazis, brutally tortured and killed
in Dachau concentration camp. She was only 30.
Noor, the only Indian woman to get the George Cross,
was also awarded the Croix de Guerre by France.
The memorial will be in the form of a bust.
It comes after months of campaigning by Noor Inayat
Khan Memorial Trust and an Early Day Motion tabled by Labour
MP Valerie Vaz in the House Commons in July.
"Noor deserves this recognition," a delighted Vaz
"It is the most wonderful news," Shrabani Basu, author
of `Spy Princess`, the Life of Noor Inayat Khan and founder of
the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, said.
"It means her memory will be preserved for future
generations. It will not only be a memorial to an
inspirational Indian woman but also a memorial for peace, as
Noor was a Sufi and believed in non-violence. Noor`s sacrifice
will not have been in vain," Basu said.
The bust, to be sculpted by Karen Newman, will be
erected at a spot in Gordon Square after the memorial trust
set up her memory manages to raise 65,000 pounds.
Noor used to play in Gordon Square as a child.
As a secret agent she lived nearby on 4 Taviton
Street, and would often spend her off days reading on one of
the benches in the Square.