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 MAIN PLAQUE

7th ARMOURED DIVISION

DESERT RATS

FROM EL ALAMEIN TO BERLIN

Via

NORTH AFRICA - ITALY - THETFORD FOREST - FRANCE -BELGIUM - HOLLAND

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

 

The President and Chairman, the Committee and the Trustees of The Desert Rats Association are delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has kindly agreed to extend her patronage of our association for a further five years.

Rod Scott, Chairman

13th August 2015

See the Commemoration here

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

 

 

D-Day veterans to be awarded the Legion díHonneur

 

 

In conjunction with events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, the government of France has advised the Ministry of Defence that it wishes to award the Legion díHonneur to all surviving veterans. Please go to the MoD site to download the application form.

 

Hopefully, the French Government will one day extend this award to all those who now lie in cemeteries in France and to those veterans who survived the war and are now no longer with us.

 


Stamps for Charity

 Needs your help collecting used stamps to raise funds for the future memorial

Please collect as many as you can and then bring them to the association events

OR

Post them to the association Membership Secretary.

They can be all types and sizes and leave them on the paper just tear off the envelopes with a 8mm margin.

Target date is to collect NOW to June 2019

 

 

 


Container Appeal

Has anyone got a 10ft or 20ft shipping/storage container they could donate to the Association, please?

It can be tatty, as long it can be locked and made water proof, we will be happy to have it.

Please contact the Treasurer or Mr. Rod Scott on 01359 270490.


Remembrance Sunday 2018

The Desert Rats Association, held a service of Remembrance at the Desert Rat Memorial, High Ash, on the A1065 between Mundford and Swaffham, Norfolk, on Sunday 11th November 2018, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that signified the end of the Great War. We would like to thank everyone who attended and made this event a very special day.

Photographs of the event will be available soon.


1940s D-Day Dinner and Dance

The Desert Rats Association, in support of the 7th Armoured Division Memorial Fund (Registered No. 1063575 under the Charities Act of 1960), is proud to announce that on 6th April  2019, it will be holding a 1940's style Dinner and Dance to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy in 1994, at Lynford Hall, Hotel, Mundford, Norfolk, where the Association has negotiated special room rates for the event.

 

Event

Grand County House Hotel Dinner and Dance

1940's Theme Dinner and Dance, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, in aid of the Charity we support. Please come and join us for a 1940's Theme Dinner and Dance to commemorate the links between the famous Desert Rats and Norfolk (which still exist), who were based nearby before sailing for the beaches of Normandy to take part in the momentous events of 1944. You will be able to enjoy the splendour of a wonderful Country House, which was also part of the story of D-Day, itself.

The evenings entertainment consists of:-Description: Picture

  • Three course meal, with tea/coffee afterwards.
  • Entertainment from the Swingtime Sweethearts
  • DJ AndyV8 and the AV8 period disco,
  • Piper,
  • Tombola,
  • More entertainment and other attractions to be announced.

Period or Smart Dress, please.

Just a few points of note Winking smile

                     Can any pilots please park their 'kites' on the front lawn!

                     Tanks welcome, but please do not mess up the grass (too much)!

                     Please park your Jeeps carefully!

However you get there, (by tank, plane, parachute, staff car, jeep, etc), please join us for a great evening out.

Price £44.00 per person

Start time 6.30pm for 7.00pm, with Carriages or Staff Cars at 0.59 am.

Saturday, 6th April 2019.

NB. Tickets in advance only please, as they will not available for sale on the door.

Full Details of the event and how to book available here.

 

 

 

 


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 now stands in the grounds of the Staff College at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

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.

 

 

 

Why not join the association?

 

Are you aware that you can join the Desert Rats Association if you and/or a relative, served in the 7th Armoured Division or 4th or 7th Armoured Brigades from 1938 to today.


Please note most service personnel now serving in the British armed forces serve as a Red or Black Rats including of course 7th Infantry Brigade†and HQ East or 4th Infantry Brigade†and HQ North East can also join.


If you would like to join please contact our Membership Secretary.


Download the membership form here Word or PDF version
.

 

View the association's GDPR Data Protection Policy.

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Would you like to donate to the association

Please click on the button below. You can use your PayPal account or Credit/Debit card.

 

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Desert Rat Merchandise for sale.

If you are interested in any Desert Rat memorabilia, we have a range of items for sale via our eBay account

Please click here to view it.

If you wish to buy direct please contract our Treasurer.

 

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A Brief History of the Desert Rats and Memorial. (Now with video links)

The Desert Rats Museum

Book Reviews

Location of 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) Memorial

Latest Newsletters.

Open Days and Events

Where Are You Now?

Locations of the 7th Armoured Division and 4th Armoured Brigade before the invasion of Normandy

Take a Virtual Tour of the High Ash and Shakers Wood Camp Area  

Contents of Web Site

Tribute to the founder of 7th Armoured Division Memorial - Les Dinning

The History of the British 7th Armoured Division, plus the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigade, website

Contact Us

 

 

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