Noor Inayat Khan was a British secret agent during the Second World War. Of Indian and American descent, she was also a writer and a musician. Born on January 1, 1914, in Moscow, Russia, she and her family eventually moved to London in 1914 and then to France in 1920. She studied child psychology at the Sorbonne and music at the Paris Conservatory.
When World War II broke out, she and her family fled back to London, where she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in November 1940. Recognizing her potential, British intelligence recruited her for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), where she was employed in 1943.
Khan was then stationed in Paris as a wireless operator, where she transmitted vital messages back to London. Her task was the essentially hazardous job of a clandestine agent’s life: she had to stay undercover while carrying out high-risk tasks of transferring secret messages.
Sadly, she was betrayed by a French woman, was captured, and taken prisoner by the Germans. After numerous attempts to escape, she was transferred to a high-security prison in Germany. She was executed by the Nazis on September 13, 1944. Her heroic endeavors resulted in posthumous recognition. She was awarded the George Cross for her services in 1949.
- Noor Inayat Khan was a WW2 British secret agent of Indian-American descent.
- She was a crucial wireless operator for the SOE, transmitting vital messages from Paris back to London during the war.
- Khan was betrayed, captured, and executed by the Germans, epitomizing ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom.
- She was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her valiant services.
1. What was Noor Inayat Khan’s early life like?
Noor Inayat Khan was born in Russia, but she spent her early life in London and France. She studied child psychology and music in Paris before the war broke out.
2. What role did Noor Inayat Khan play in the war?
Khan was a secret agent for the British during WW2. She was a wireless operator stationed in Paris, relaying vital information back to London.
3. How did Noor Inayat Khan die?
Noor Inayat Khan was captured by the Nazis after being betrayed by a French woman. She was executed in a German prison in September 1944.
4. What recognition did Noor Inayat Khan receive for her work?
In 1949, Noor Inayat Khan was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her services.
5. Was Noor Inayat Khan the only woman in her role during the war?
While women were involved in undercover operations, Noor was one of the few who were infiltrated into enemy-occupied territory. She was the first woman wireless operator sent into France to aid the French Resistance.