Noor Inayat Khan was a Second World War SOE agent, also famously known as the “Spy Princess”.
Noor was born under the shadows of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Her father was a Sufi saint and her mother an American. Her father had followers all over the world and he was in Moscow to preach his teachings in the royal court. When the First World War broke out her family moved to Great Britain. They then moved to Paris, France permanently. They were gifted a house by one of her father’s followers in Suresnes in the outskirts of Paris. They named it as “Fazil mahal” meaning “Home of Love”. Continue reading Noor Inayat Khan – The Spy Princess
One of the most successful World War II rescue operations was created by a 23 year-old woman named Andrée de Jongh.
De Jongh was born in 1916 in German-occupied Belgium and was raised in the shadow of what was then called the Great War. Long before she reached adulthood, De Jongh’s schoolmaster father made certain his daughter was well-versed in Belgium’s wartime history, both its villains and its heroes. Topping the list of the latter were two women executed in Brussels by the Germans: Belgian spy Gabrielle Petit and British nurse Edith Cavell. Continue reading Andrée de Jongh and the Comet Line
The Night Witches were the world’s first all-female flight unit, a Soviet regiment who became feared amongst Nazi pilots during the Second World War. Continue reading The Night Witches
Women Heroes of World War II; 26 stories of espionage, sabotage, resistance & rescue – by Kathryn J Atwood
I was lucky enough to be contacted by Kathryn J Atwood, author of several books about the extraordinary lives of women during the First & Second World Wars. Kathyrn had come across the Sheroes of History blog, and rightly guessed that I might be interested in reading her books.
Continue reading Book Review: Women Heroes of World War II – by Kathryn J Atwood
Nancy Wake was a New Zealand born journalist turned spy for the British in France during WWII.
Born the youngest of six children, she was majorly affected when her father abandoned the family. At the age of sixteen, she ran away from home and made her way as a nurse. After receiving an unexpected windfall, a bequest left by an aunt, she traveled to London and received training in journalism. She became a European correspondent for a newspaper and situated herself in France. In this role, she had the opportunity to travel to Vienna and see firsthand the ill treatment of Jewish people, and “saw roving Nazi gangs randomly beating Jewish men and women in the streets”.
Continue reading Nancy Wake
I pray that it never will end.
The sand and the sea
And the waves breaking and sighing
And high over the water
The wind blowing free.
The lightning and rain and the darkness descending
And ever and ever the nature of man.
(Translated from the original Hebrew)
The above prayer, which is recited at a majority of Holocaust memorial services, was written by a remarkable young woman whose short life was destined to have an impact on many people especially within Israel.
Continue reading Hannah Szenes
Irène Joliot-Curie was a Nobel Prize winning chemist, and daughter of famed scientist Marie Curie.
When it comes to great women from history, almost everyone has heard of Marie Curie, the great scientist who won two Nobel Prizes. Less well known is her equally brilliant daughter, Irène.
Irène was born on 12th September 1897 in Paris where her famous parents Marie & Pierre lived. She went to school when she was 10, but only stayed for a year; her parents had noticed how clever she was, especially at maths and wanted to develop her gift. Marie and other scientists living in Paris at the time formed an educational group which they called ‘The Cooperative’. The scientists took it in turn to teach one anothers children in their homes, it was an amazing start for young Irene. As well as teaching them science at a higher level than at school, they also encouraged creativity, self-expression and play.
Continue reading Irène Joliot-Curie