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.
Please click here to bookmark this page for future reference

Click on the appropriate Brigade or Divisional Sign, below, to go to the website of your choice

TAC Sign of 4th Amoured Brigade, the Black Rats, from 1943 to 1945. Click here to go to the 4th Armoured Brigade website.

TAC Sign of 7th Amoured Division, 1940 to 1944. Click here to go to the 7th Armoured Division website.

TAC Sign of 7th Amoured Brigade, the Green Jerboa, from 1942 to 1945. Click here to go to the 7th Armoured Brigade website.

4th Armoured Brigade

7th Armoured Division

7th Armoured Brigade


There is a permanent memorial to the 7th Armoured Division (shown below) at Mundford, in Thetford Forest, Norfolk, by Field Marshall Lord Carver.

The Desert Rat Memorial, in Thetford Forest, near Mundford, Norfolk. Please click here to go to the Desert Rat Association site.

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.

Plaque to the Memory of those who served in 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades after the end of the Second World War.


If you wish to visit the official Desert Rat 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 ."

Winston Churchill

This web site supports the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and the "Two Minute Silence" on Armistice Day.

Click the logo to either of the two web site links

Royal British Legion Home Page

Poppy Appeal Home Page

Please remember that modern day service personnel including 'Desert Rats' and 'Black Rats' are still being wounded so please also support Help for Heroes

Click here for the location of 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) Memorial.
Please click here to contact me

Why do you still march Old Man, with medals on your chest? 
Why do you grieve Old Man, for those friends you laid to rest? 
Why do your eyes still gleam Old Man, when you hear the bugles blow? 
Tell me, why do you cry old man for those days so long ago?

I'll tell you why I march with medals on my chest. 
I'll tell you why I grieve young man for those I laid to rest. 
Through misty fields of gossamer silk come visions of distant times, 
When boys of tender age lost lives, and mothers pined. 
We buried them in a blanket shroud, their young flesh scorched and blackened, 
A communal grave, newly gouged in bloodstained gorse and bracken. 
And you ask me why I march young man - I march to remind you all 
That for those apple-blossomed youths, you would never have known freedom at all.




"At the going down of the Sun and in the Morning, we will remember them!"

 Details of the Desert Rats Association Remembrance Day Service can be found here.

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