Shoulder Flash (Right)  The Desert Rats Association     Shoulder Flash (Left)


Making sure our history is not a thing of the past


The Desert Rat Memorial
Thetford Forest 

The Mark IV Cromwell Tank on the plinth is a replica of

"Little Audrey" 5 Able, "B" Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment








The 7th Armoured Division was stationed in Thetford Forest between January and May 1944 while they prepared for the invasion of Normandy. This was the only time the division was in the United Kingdom in it's entire Existence. The Division sailed from Felixstowe on the 5 June 1944 with the first tanks landing on Gold Beach on the evening of 6th June 1944

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



The Memorial and main plaque inaugurated on the 23rd October 1998 by Field Marshal Lord Carver is located on the A1065 two miles north of Mundford, Norfolk, England. The additional plaque commemorating the Desert Rats of the 4th & 7th Armoured Brigades from 1945 to 2003 was added to the plinth and inaugurated during the Open Day on the 27th June 2004 in the presence of Brigadier Adrian Bradshaw, commanding 7th Armoured Brigade, and other senior officers from both brigades.


The memorial is dedicated to all who served in the 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats), the 4th Armoured Brigade (The Black Rats) and the 7th Armoured Brigade (The Green Jerboa), throughout history. 

It the 7th Armoured Brigade who are now the modern day Desert Rats, while the 4th Mechanized Brigade continues to wear the Black Rat, after since 2007, now worn by 4th Infantry Brigade since 2015. In 2015, the 7th Armoured Brigade was disbanded and the 7th Infantry Brigade created to still wear the Jerboa and carry on the traditions of the Desert Rats and the Desert Rats Association will continue to be associated with it.

Throughout its history the Division and the two Brigades not only consisted of Armoured units, but also Infantry, Artillery and Engineering units, plus other support units, all of whom are commemorated by this memorial. 



Shoulder Flash of 4th Armoured Brigade

Shoulder Flash of 7th Armoured Division

Shoulder Flash of 7th Armoured Brigade

Shoulder Flash of 4th Armoured Brigade

(1942 - 1948)

Shoulder Flash of 7th Armoured Division

(1938 - 1959)

Shoulder Flash of 7th Armoured Brigade 

(1942 - 1946)

Badge of 7th Armoured Brigade

Badge of 4th Mechanized Brigade

Badge of 7th Infantry Brigade

Badge of 4th Infantry Brigade


See the Commemoration here

This plaque was added in 2014 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landing and Campaign.



National Arboretum - Desert Rats Memorial

The new Desert Rats Memorial was dedicated on the 80th Anniversary of the Second Battle of El Alamein, 23rd October 2022, with veterans of all ages in attendance, plus modern day service personnel from both 4th Light Mechanized Combat Team and 7th Light Mechanized Combat Team. along with many of our kind sponsors. 

We would like to thank everyone who helped us in this project, which is an enduring Memorial to those who have worn the Jerboa from the 1940's to the present day and those who will wear it in years to come.

Floreat Jerboa!

High Ash Memorial

If anyone is wondering where the tank from the memorial is, she is off for refurbishment over the winter and will return in the Spring of 2024.

Photos and Videos of the removal are available here.


Rededication of the Desert Rats Memorial (High Ash) and 

the Commemoration  for the 80th Anniversary of the Desert Rats leaving for Normandy

5th May 2024

We are pleased to announce the service to celebrate the rededication of the Desert Rats Memorial at High Ash, Ickborough, Norfolk, IP26 5BZ, on Sunday 5th May 2024. The service will commence at 13.00 hrs with displays and stalls open beforehand.

More details soon.



The association formed to look after the Memorial has no regular income and relies on donations which can be sent via our Treasurer, Ian Paterson, 21 Beech Grove, Little Oakley, Essex, CO12 5NN. Cheques should be made payable to Desert Rats Association.

Please click here to bookmark this page for future reference

Below are photographs of the Memorial Erected by the Division in Berlin 1945, that until recently stood in the grounds of the Staff College at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. It is now been refurbished and moved to the National Memorial Arboretum, as part of the new Desert Rats Memorial.

By kind permission of the RMA Sandhurst

By kind permission of the RMA Sandhurst


Help support the Desert Rats Association

If you buy a copy of this book via this link the Memorial Association will receive 12% commission from the sale. If you buy a copy of Patrick Delaforce's latest book Churchill's Desert Rats in North-West Europe via this website, we will benefit from the sale.


The Memorial Site is on Trip Advisor now. Please give feedback if you visit the site.






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A Brief History of the Desert Rats and Memorial. (Now with video links) Location of 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) Memorial
Locations of the 7th Armoured Division and 4th Armoured Brigade before the invasion of Normandy
Open Days and Events Take a Virtual Tour of the High Ash and Shakers Wood Camp Area  
Latest Newsletters. Tribute to the founder of 7th Armoured Division Memorial - Les Dinning
GDPR Data Protection Policy. The History of the British 7th Armoured Division, plus the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigade, website
Contents of Web Site Book Reviews
Contact Us Where Are You Now?

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