Blue Plaque to commemorate Noor Inayat Khan

Today it was confirmed that FANY and SOE Agent Noor Inayat Khan, often referred to as "Britain's only female Muslim war heroine" will be commemorated with a Blue Plaque. One of the 39 FANYs who went into the field during WWII – will be the first Indian-origin woman to be honoured with a Blue Plaque at her former London home.

Chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust (NIKMT), Shrabani Basu, said:

"It is from this house that she left on her final and fatal mission. Noor gave her life in the fight against fascism and her message of peace and tolerance of all religions is even more relevant today. The blue plaque will be a wonderful addition to the area that has a special association with Noor. It will be the first Blue Plaque for a woman of Indian-origin in Britain and is a real honour."

Noor was part of the ill-fated Prosper network that operated around Paris, and she was eventually the only SOE wireless operator in Paris. She was eventually arrested but under torture, said nothing. She twice tried to escape but was sent to Dachau, where she was shot in September 1944. 

The London scheme has been running since 1866 but only 14% of about 950 blue plaques celebrate women. In 2018 English Heritage called on the public for more nominations, saying the figure was “far too low”. On Wednesday 4th March 2020 it announced details of six new blue plaques for 2020: secret agents Christine Granville and Noor Inayat Khan, the artist Barbara Hepworth, the first world war leader and botanist Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan, and the headquarters of two suffrage organisations.

 

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