Noor Inayat Khan — A British Spy

Triggerfish Writing
360onhistory.com
Published in
7 min readJun 18, 2024

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Hon. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan (code name Madeleine), George Cross, MiD, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil. Noor Inayat Khan served as a wireless operator with F Section, Special Operations Executive.
Hon. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan (code name Madeleine), George Cross, MiD, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil. Noor Inayat Khan served as a wireless operator with F Section, Special Operations Executive. CC BY

Noor Inayat Khan was the first female wireless operator to be sent from the UK into occupied France to help the French Resistance during World War II.

Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) was established to conduct espionage, sabotage, and reconnaissance in countries ruled by the Axis powers, specifically those occupied by Nazi Germany.

Noor Inayat Khan was an SOE agent with codename Madeleine sent to France in 1943 as a wireless operator to help the French resistance during World War II. Her job was to support the French resistance network known as Prosper.

Noor was born in Moscow on January 1, 1914, the eldest of four children. As the great-great-granddaughter of Tipu Sultan the ruler of Mysore (a princely state in India) from 10 December 1782–4 May 1799, she was descendent from royalty. Her father, Hazrat Inayat Khan, was a Sufi teacher, and her mother Ora Ray Baker was an American poet. Her brother Vilayat became the head of the Sufi Order of the West, which later became the Sufi Order International, and now the Inayati Order.

From all accounts, Noor’s childhood was happy and loving, with philosophy, music, religious…

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Triggerfish Writing
360onhistory.com

I write on science, history, nature, climate change, feminism, religion & politics. My members only stories on science & history are free on 360onhistory.com.