7th Armoured Division (Desert Rats) Thetford Forest Memorial Association



January 2008

I can hardly believe that another year has flown by so fast, but what a wonderful year it has been for the association. Open day was our best attended to date, although rain stopped play a little earlier than we would have liked everyone who attended said they had a wonderful time. We cannot thank everyone enough, for turning out to the Alamein Anniversary in October, again not the warmest of days, but what an honour to have had Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall in attendance. The Duchess has kindly agreed to become Patron of our Association. This is a great honour for us, and a cause very dear to the Duchess's heart, herself the daughter of a Desert Rat, the day started with a service of remembrance conducted by The Bishop of Lynn and our own padre Reverend David Hanwell. After the ceremony the Duchess spent a considerable time talking to all the Alamein Veterans. The look of shear pride and excitement on their faces will stay with us for a long time. We thank everyone one who wrote and thanked us for the reunion, to know that you enjoyed the day makes all the work involved worthwhile.

Preparations are well underway for this years open day; as usual we are always on the lockout for extra stalls or groups that have an interest that is relevant to our day. Therefore should you know of anyone who would like to be included have them contact the Association Chairman Rod Scott on 01359 270490

Some dates for you to remember.

Open day will be held on Sunday June 22nd 2008
The Orwell Park reunion will be on Saturday September 13th (Please note that due to space this reunion is by invitation only)
The remembrance service will be held at 2.00pm on Sunday 9th of November, as usual there will be members of the committee on site at 11.00am for anyone who wishes to attend at that time.

We have been asked if we could put forward the next two items to you for your help, Mr. Steve Young is looking for past members of K Battery 5th RHA with a view to get them to take part in this years reunion which will take place in London. You can contact him direct on e.mail direct at Or you can send us your information which we will pass on for you

If anyone is planning a trip to Libya this year Karoline Wirth would love to hear from you. Karoline is looking to accompanying a veteran going back to Libya for the purpose of making a film, should you be interested in this opportunity you can contact Karoline by email at or again you can send your details to us and we will forward them for you. 

Once again the time has come for membership renewals, this is still 5.00 and can be sent as usual to myself or direct to our treasurer. Addresses below. I would at this point like to remind you that my address changed from number 19 to number 21 2 years ago, I have noticed that some people are still using that address.

Mrs. P Raburn
21 Main Street


Mrs. T Scott
8 Thurston Road

The Members of the committee would like to wish each and every one of you a wonderful safe and healthy 2008 and we look forward to seeing you at one or all of the events to be held this year.

Pat Raburn

April/May 2008

How nice it is to tie having some fine weather at last, I hope everyone is taking fall advantage of it, this is a lovely time of year to visit the memorial and take a walk along the path through the forest.

April's A.G.M. and lunch was well attended, we really appreciate the effort of those who attended. We understand only to well that the weather plays a large part in travel times and plans in the early part of the year. So I am sure that the pleasant weather helped our turnout. The committee with the exception of Mr. Ken Harris remains the same. The committee officers are Chairman, Mr. Rod Scott, Secretary Mrs. P Raburn Treasurer Mrs. Tina Scott; other committee members also remain unchanged, and are Dennis and Betty Tierney, Michael Davies. Mr. Ken Harris has resigned from the committee. The association wish to thank Ken for all his hard work and support over the years. Ken will still support the association in his usual tasks, for which we are very grateful.

Open day is almost upon us once again, it seams to come around so fast. We will have the association tent in operation again where we will be serving teas, coffees, cold drinks, and cakes, for donations. We will also have for sale Tee-shirts, lapel badges, and other items related to the association. We also will need help tocover the running of the tent for the day-plus relief for people to take breaks. As usual all donations of cakes are welcome, we still need some extra help collecting parking fees, but please be aware that this task will require some standing, if you feel you can help please give me a call on 01842-827719. This year we also need to try and recruit more members to the association, if you feel you could spend some time in the tent concentrating on this task please let me know.

Car parking permits will be mailed out early June to all association members.

The association is pleased to pass on its congratulations to Brigadier Bradshaw on his promotion to Major General, and we are delighted to announce that he is to attend the open day.

This year has seen a dramatic fall in membership fees, we still have a lot of membership fees outstanding, if you have not paid and still wish to retain your membership, please send your fees to our treasurer, or contact Mrs. Scott on 01359-270490. Likewise should you have decided to relinquish your membership could you please let us know? So that we can adjust our mailing list We automatically remove people from our mailing list if we do not hear from them for 2 years.

Other than the open day, membership fees are our main source of income.

Please note The next association meeting will be held at 10:00am on Tuesday 3rd of June 2008 at the School Room, Forest Enterprise H.Q, Santon Downham, Brandon, Suffolk, this will be the last meeting before open day.

And there will be no other reminder of this meeting.

Pat Raburn

October 2008


I would normally start this letter by hoping you all at a wonderful summer, but considering the weather this year I feel should skip on my usual opening and talk about anything else but holidays. As those of you who attended open day will be only to well aware the day although sunny was extremely windy. Although we had a good turnout from the public, this was not our most profitable open day. We had to supply the canopies and tables for our exhibitors, and pay for the repair of one canopy that was damaged by the wind.

In stark contrast the Orwell Park reunion was held on what had to be the best day of the year. Sunny and hot (yes really sun) and once again the staff and pupils of this entertained us in wonderful style. This year our guest of honour was Mr. William Cutting aged 98 and his lovely wife Irene. Mr. Cutting is a former Hussar, and would like to hear from anyone who could possibly remember him. Anyone wishing to contact William may do so by writing to me and I will pass on any correspondence.

We are sorry to announce that from January 2009 the cost of membership fees will have to rise to 10-00 per person a year, we have tried to keep the membership fee low for the pass few years, but with increasing costs have found it necessary to make this increase.

Dates to Remember

The next association meeting will be held at 10-00am on Tuesday November 4th 2008 at the Schoolroom, Forest Center, Santon Downham, Brandon Suffolk.

The Remembrance Day service will be held at the Memorial at 2-OOpm on Sunday 9th November.

There will be an association member present at the Memorial for 11-00am if you wish to attend or lay your wreath at that time.

Please note that due to the increase in postage there will be no other reminder to these dates.


Take care and we hope to see you all soon.


Patricia Raburn

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