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Noor Inayat Khan

(1914-1944), Special operations officer

Sitter in 1 portrait
Born in Russia, to an Indian-Sufi father (a direct descendent of Tipu Sultan) and an American mother Ameena Begum (born Ora Ray Baker). After living in London, the family settled in Paris where she became a writer. At the start of World War II, the family fled to England. Khan joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and was later recruited to join F (France) Section of the Special Operations Executive. She was the first female radio operator to be flown undercover to Paris, speaking French fluently she worked undetected for three months. Betrayed, she was captured and tortured by the Gestapo, she revealed nothing. Her last word as she was executed by gunfire in the Nazi Dachau concentration camp was "Liberte!". She was posthumously honoured with the George Cross and the French Croix de Guerre for her courage and bravery. A statue to honour her bravery was unveiled in 2012 in Gordon Square Gardens, London, where she once lived.

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Noor Inayat Khan, by Unknown photographer - NPG x199215

Noor Inayat Khan

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1937
NPG x199215

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