The History of the British 7th Armoured Division, plus the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades
"The Desert Rats, The Black Rats and Green Jerboa"
This website is dedicated to all those who served in these units and proudly wore the Desert Rat shoulder flashes and to those who then wore the Black Rat and Green Jerboa shoulder flashes, after leaving the 7th Armoured Division. The aim of this site is to provide a point of reference for those who might be interested in the history of the Desert Rats and the two Brigades after they left it and the various regiments that served in the many actions they all fought.
As far as I know the information is as accurate as possible, but I welcome any corrections or amendments, along with any information that may be useful to the site. This site does not seek to glorify war, but rather to record the history and events of what are some of the most famous organisations that served in the British Army.
The site is divided into the following areas, which may contain other several pages.
Click on the appropriate Brigade or Divisional Sign, below, to go to the website of your choice
|7th Armoured Division|
|Desert Rats Association||Desert Rats Museum|
Arboretum - Desert Rats Memorial
We are the Desert Rats Association (Registered No.
1063575 under the Charities Act of 1960) and are raising money to build a
new Memorial to the men and women of the Desert Rats from 1940 to the
modern day, who have served this country in war and peace.
The new memorial will acknowledge the history of
the Desert Rats using the insignia of the Desert Rat. A stylised
sculpture, with a mechanised quality and speaking of the predominance of
armour used, both light and heavy, whilst representing the Desert Rat’s
The Jerboa will be; 1.64m high, 0.4m wide and 1.5m
long, made of flame-cut laminated 30mm thick Corten steel, and left with a
rust red finish. This will be placed on a stone plinth, with the sides
sloping at 45º, echoing angles used in some of the armour on tanks and
vehicles. The Plinth will have
the sides carved with a sand motif with letters incised. We suggest
“DESERT RATS” in a sans serif
Roman script fading in and out of the pattern, which suggests movement
through time, space and sand. We would like to keep the memorial as simple
as possible but, if required, any further information can be added to a
bronze plaque at the front.
We will use the Patina and Rust that will
naturally occur, as the rust from the Desert Rat is likely to run and
stain the plinth. We propose that this should be made into a feature by
carving shallow channels in the plinth, which would create red tracks of
rust signifying the blood spilt and given for victory.
The memorials will be positioned in an oval area with two crescent
shaped mounds. In section, echoing the desert landscape of the sand dunes,
steeper on one side than the other, covered in turf.
The memorial from the Royal Military Academy
Sandhurst will be placed on the higher of the two mounds with the Rat on
its plinth in the centre between. There will be a flat area running
through the middle of the memorial ground. The Rat will be orientated
towards El Alamein, Egypt, pointing towards the origin of the 7th Armoured
The images show an artist’s impression of the
memorial and Maquette of the design we have chosen.
No matter how small or large your donation, it
will all go toward honouring the memory of the men who have worn and
continue to proudly wear the Jerboa badge of the Desert Rats and have
served this country for over 80 years, including more recent conflicts of
the late 20th and early 21st Centuries..
Desert Rats Association
use this QR code
Memorial Open Day June 2019
This year's open day and reunion for all Desert Rats past and present from the 7th Armoured Division, and from the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades, will be held on Sunday 23rd June 2019, at the Memorial, High Ash, North of Mundford, Norfolk.
Time: 10:30 am to 15:30 pm, with a Memorial Service at 13:00 pm.
Entrance £3.50, with Children under 12 years of age free.
More details of the event can be seen below.
Remember this year is the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings (D-Day - 6th June) and the campaign that followed and this event is held where the Desert Rats lived and trained before they left for Normandy and bloody battles that followed.
There is a permanent memorial to the 7th Armoured Division (shown below) at Mundford, in Thetford Forest, Norfolk, by Field Marshall Lord Carver.
Also on this memorial is this plaque (shown below) to the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades, who are the successors to the 7th Armoured Division.
If you wish to visit the official Desert Rats
Association Web Site
This site is a member of and affiliated to the Desert Rat Association.
Finally these words appear on the Division Memorial;
"May your glory ever shine, May your laurels never fade, May the memory of this glorious pilgrimage of war you have made from Alamein, via the Baltic to Berlin never die. It is a march unsurpassed through all the story of war.
May the fathers long tell the children about this tale."
Click here for the location of
7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) Memorial.
Please click here to contact me