The Indian 'spy princess' who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom during WWII

  • ITV News Meridian's Sangeeta Bhabra reports from a memorial held to remember Noor's contribution to the war.

An Indian princess was the first woman radio operator to infiltrate German-occupied France during World War Two.

Noor Inayat Khan, known as Nora Baker to the Nazi's, trained in Beaulieu in Hampshire, and played a vital role in getting information off the continent in 1944, which was vital to the Allies when planning D-Day.

She ended up being the only British agent in Paris after her fellow operatives were captured, and managed to evade capture herself for three months.

Her efforts during that period immensely helped the war effort, and single-handedly she successfully carried out the work of six people.

She was only caught after her address was sold to the Nazi's by Renee Gari, the sister of her circuit leader, for 100,000 Francs.

Noor Inayat Khan

A former Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) volunteer, Noor was recruited by the Special Operation Executive (SOE) after agents learned she was fluent in French.

Noor had previously lived in Paris, and had a web of connections in the city.

Once she agreed to work for SOE, she was taken to Beaulieu and was taught to handle guns, explosives, lock picking and how to kill, in what was standard training for a secret agent.

A few months later, she was flown to France, and was taken to Tangmere airfield in Kent, where she departed in secret.

From that moment on, she played a game of cat and mouse with the Gestapo, and drew on old contacts she had in Paris to find different addresses to transmit from.

People gather to remember Noor Inayat Khan. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Every year a memorial is held in London to remember Noor's contribution to the war.

People from all walks of life turn up and pay tribute to her, which her cousin, Shaikh Mahmood Khan shows she lives on in people's thoughts.

"It's so touching for me", he told ITV News Meridian. "It is so good and in a sense a consolation that she still lives in people's minds and hearts that she's commemorated this way.

"That is such a wonderful, even it relieves me some of the own pain I feel when I think of her."

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