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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Indian spy to be honoured with London memorial

A memorial to Indo-American World War 2 heroine Noor Inayat Khan is to be unveiled by Princess Anne in London Gordon's Square.

The bronze bust, by London-based sculptor Karen Newman, will be unveiled November 08 following a decade-long campaign by the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial to establish a permanent monument to the George Cross-winning spy.

The campaign was led by Shrabani Basu, Noor's biographer, and has received support from high profile individuals including Prime Minister David Cameron, Speaker of the House John Bercow, and Shami Chakrabarti, chairman of the advocacy group Liberty.

The daughter of the Pacifist Sufi scholar and musician Hazrat Inayat Khan, Noor was one of a handful of women operatives recruited by the British Special Operations Executive which was tasked with conducting espionage activities deep inside Nazi-occupied Europe.

After being smuggled into France, Noor did yeomen work for the Allies, maintaining crucial contact between the French Resistance and British forces.  

She was eventually betrayed, captured and executed at the Dachau Concentration Camp in September 1944.  

Noor was posthumously awarded the George Cross and France's Croix de Guerre.

The University of London, which owns Gordon Square, gave permission for the installation of the bust in 2010.  

Noor is said to have spent her off days reading on a bench in the Square.

For more information, visit www.noormemorial.org

- UKAsian Staff

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