It was just by coincidence I noticed the article about Noor Inayat Khan on the Talking Cranes’ website a few months ago. I felt it was intriguing with a female Indian spy during WWII, and thought I might blog about her at some point, but then never did.

Noor Inayat Khan

I was aware there was a collection for some kind of memorial, and I suspect it was not by chance that the bust was unveiled by the Princess Royal in time for Remembrance Sunday.

Noor spoke perfect French, which is why she was sent to France with the SOE. Unfortunately she was captured fairly soon after arrival, and executed by the Germans. So many lives and so much talent lost.

It was only by more chance reading that I found out Noor also wrote stories. Her Twenty Jataka Tales appears to be out of print at the moment, but could be worth looking out for.


7 responses to “Noor

  1. Katherine Langrish

    That’s amazing – thankyou – I want to know more, now.

  2. I’d like to see a book about her. Fiction, I think. If you were to feel tempted.


    when i was writing Code Name Verity I read a LOT about her and found a copy of Jakata Tales, which I gave to my daughter (then 12) for Christmas. A couple of weeks later, when I asked her what she thought of the stories, she shrugged and said, “They were ok – they all had happy endings.”


    (She has a cameo in CNV – she is the anonymous “hunted wireless operator” in Maddie’s section. She has no name or code name in the book but someone refers to her as “princess”)

  4. Happy endings? Oh no!
    Funnily enough I was thinking of you when I wrote this blog post. Felt there was a lot of Verity in Noor.

  5. A heroic and inspiring woman. One of the ones who make you think: what would I do? Beaten almost to death in Dachau before being shot, her last word was ‘Liberty’. Thank you for blogging about this and drawing attention to her memorial. I shall be visiting it.

  6. Well, I suggest Kath and Celia fight over who gets to write a ‘Noor’ novel. Elizabeth already has. (AND it will take some beating, too.)

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