Honouring an anti-fascist hero and woman of incredible courage:
Noor Inayat Khan: 1st class.
The Royal Mail has issued a postage stamp of Noorunissa (‘Noor’) Inayat Khan, World War II heroine, who fought fascism and died in the Dachau concentration camp.
The stamp — part of a set of ten in the ‘Remarkable Lives’ series — honours Noor on her centenary year. Others in the series include Alec Guinness and Dylan Thomas,
“I am delighted that Royal Mail has commemorated Noor with a stamp,” said Shrabani Basu, author of Spy Princess, the Life of Noor Inayat Khan, and Chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust: “it will ensure that her sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Noor Inayat Khan was born in Moscow in January 1914 to an Indian father, Hazrat Inayat Khan and an American mother, Ora Ray Baker. The couple met in the Ramkrishna Mission ashram in America. Hazrat Inayat Khan was a Sufi preacher and musician who travelled the world promoting Sufism.
Noor was brought up in Paris and the family moved to London when France fell in 1940. Noor joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and was later recruited to the Special Operations Executive, a secret organisation set up by Churchill for espionage purposes.
She was the first female radio operator to be flown undercover to Paris, where she worked for three months under the code name Madeleine. However, she was betrayed, arrested and finally executed in the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.
Though she was interrogated under torture, she revealed nothing — not even her real name. Her last word as she was shot was “Liberte!” She was 30.
(Adapted from an article by Parvathi Menon in The Hindu, March 24, 2014)
H/t: Alan Johnson and Iam Farruk, via Facebook.