The Princess Spy:
Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan

Noor's Legacy: The Memorials

In memory of Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan several medals and memorials were awarded and created.

A.  The George Cross Medal  (Great Britain)

The George Cross Medal as instituted on the 24th of September, 1940 by King George of England in order to recognize outstanding individuals.  The medal replaced the Empire Gallantry Medal.  The medal is one of the highest honors a civilian may receive from the British government.  The George Cross medal was designed as the civilian equilivant of the Victoria Cross which is the medal soldiers receive for outstanding gallantry and bravery in battle.  Noor won this award for her service with the WAAF and FANY.  The WAAF and FANY were not considered true military branches of service.  The organizations were simply dedicated civil service organizations.  This included her time spent in occupied France during World War II.  She won the award posthumously.

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The George Cross Medal

Click here to find out more about the George Cross Medal.

B.  The London Memorial to FANY members

The British created a memorial in London to honor the members of the FANY who fought and died in defense of their country.  Of course, Noor's name appears on the plaque.

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The FANY Memorial in London

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Close-up view of the plague

C.  The Croix de Guerre Medal  (France)

The French equivalent of Britain's George Cross Medal is the Croix de Guerre.  Noor received this award on January 16th, 1946--a little more than a year after her death.  This was one of the highest honors the French government could bestow upon Noor.
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The Croix de Guerre Medal

Click here to learn more about the Croix de Guerre Medal.

D. Valencay, France

The French people erected a monument at Valencay to memorialize SOE agents working in France.  Noor is among the 91 men and 13 women remembered at the memorial.

There is a web site dedicated to this memorial where visitors may learn more about the SOE and the memorial.  The web site describes some of the background of the memorial.  The web site lists all 104 agents remembered at the site.  Click here to view that web site.
 
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The Memorial at Valencay, France

E.  Dachau

Millions of Jews and other political prisoners were held and executed at the Dachau Work Camp.  Noor was one of those prisoners.  Her stay at the prison was short--just a day or two--but she did not live the camp alive.  It was here she was executed.  The Dachau camp now serves as a memorial to all of the prisoners held and executed there.  There is a special plaque for Noor at the site.  

This link is one web site for the Memorials of the Dachau Concentration Camp.


F.  Others

There are several other memorials to Noor and her colleagues in various places.  For example, there are plaques remembering Noor in places such as the Surenes in Paris, and at the memorial at Runnymed, England.

G.  Jean Overton Fuller and the Inayat Khan family

When World War II ended,  the Inayat Khan family and friends of Noor Inayat Khan wanted to know what happened to the princess.  Many questions surrounding Noor's disappearance existed.  Noor's death was not even confirmed.  Jean Overton Fuller, a dear friend of Noor and an author in her own right, decided to answer the questions about the disappearance of Noor.  The result of Ms. Fuller's investigation was the book Madeleine first published in 1952.  The book went through six printings as a hardback book before being released as a paperback.  The mass appeal of the book created lots of interest, and Ms. Fuller received several letters from readers with new information about Noor.  One of these readers was Ernst Vogt whom Ms. Fuller "hides" in later editions of the book by using the codename 'Ernest.'  As a result of these new information, Ms. Fuller revised and updated the Madeleine book.  A completely new edition came out in 1971 with the slightly new name of Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan (Madeleine).  Ms. Fuller followed this new edition with a short book of poems inspired by her meetings with 'Ernest.'  That book of poems was called Conversations with a Captor and that new book went through several printings as well.  Ms. Fuller also wrote several other books dealing with other aspects and other circuits of the SOE in France.  She wrote The Starr Affair, Double Webs (The Case of Dericourt), and The German Penetration of SOE among other titles.  In this last book, The German Penetration of SOE, the author confesses to hiding Vogt with the 'Ernest' codename.  Taken together, the books tell the story of SOE in France.  Ms. Fuller clearly spent lots of time and energy researching the topic.  In many ways, these labors of love from Ms. Fuller are the most important legacy of Noor.  The books help tell the story of an Indian princess who grows with a personal philosophy which espouses peace and nonviolence only to become a spy and saboteur for the British government.  

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Cover of Jean Overton Fuller's book
Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan: Madeleine

This book may be purchased at the Wisdom's Child bookstore.



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