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

Desert Rats Association Desert Rats Museum

National 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 Jerboa.

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 Division.

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.

The French drain around the base of the plinth, will be covered with CVR(T) track (to act as the drains grate).  On some of the CVR(T) the track rubber will be removed and bronze plates will be added with sponsors names, donating associations or organisations, engraved on it.

Yours aye,

The Desert Rats Association  

Please click here to donate via Just Giving.

use this QR code 


You can also donate via Paypal if you wish


or to donate by cheque or other means please contact the Association's Treasurer

You can read more about this project here.




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 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 ."

Winston Churchill

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

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