Shoulder Flash of the 7th Armoured Division. The Desert Rats.Virtual walk of the Shakers Wood and High Ash Camps. Forestry Commission Logo

 

 

 

This page allows you see some of the sights in and around the High Ash Camp and Shakers Wood area where the 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) were stationed in January to May 1944 before leaving for the staging areas and the subsequent invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

It is meant to give an idea of what is here to see and we strongly recommend that you go to the site and walk the trail laid out for you to experience the location for yourself, by seeing the beautiful woodland in person and exploring the many locations and archeology that remain there.

During your walk please respect the country side and following the rules of the Forestry Commission. To help you find your way the trail is sign posted using wooden posts with the Division's Jerboa badge on them. Many have direction arrows to help you find your way.

These are example posts:

Example Jerboa Signpost

Example signpost

You will also find places to sit and rest during your walk if you wish as per the example below

You will find many seats such as this along the walk.

 

The map below shows you the various points of interest along the route which is divided into two walks. The first takes you from the Memorial Tank through the forest to Shakers Wood camp area. This has a hard surface designed to provide easy access to the forest. 

After this you can return to the start or take the longer second walk via the REME Workshop area up to High Ash Camp and then back through the forest to the start again. The latter walk does go through woodland and has a natural surface, though many parts of it are on concrete/hard surfaces.

 

Map of the walks through Shakers Wood and High Ash Camp

                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                 

 

           
                               

4th County of London Yeomanry Tank Park

                               

Guard Room and Orderly Room

           
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                     

Sergeants Mess

                         

Walk through the woods, following the Jerboa signposts.

           
                                                                               
               

Support Unit area

                                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                     

This is the area of the Officers Cookhouse, but also a crossroads to other areas of High Ash Camp.

                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
             

Atop the hill

                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                     

Walk in the Woods following the Jerboa signposts.

     

Inside the Forest, following the Jerboa signposts.

                               
           

Up the hill or walk through the woods, following the Jerboa signposts.

                                                                 
                                                                               
           

Other end of REME Workshops

 

Woods near Caravan Camp. Following the Jerboa signposts.

                                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
         

REME workshops

   

If you wish you can enter the woods and go to the Northern side of the REME Workshop Area this way. Turn left when you get to the junction of the paths and see the Jerboa Post.

                         

 

   

End of Walk

 

                         
                       

The Cromwell Tank and REME.

               

Headquarters

 

     

Start of Desert Rats walk

                         
                       

NAAFI

                 

 

     

 

                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     

Accommodation

       

Walk through the woods, following the Jerboa signposts.

     

Daily Routine

                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                   

Cookhouse and Mess Hut

       

Walk through the woods, following the Jerboa signposts.

                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               

Place you mouse over any of the Jerboa Badges Divisional Badge in the above map to find out information about them and then click on it to go to that part of the walk

The links below will also take you to these locations, plus a list of all the locations all the units that made up the 7th Armoured Division, in 1944, as not all the Division was based here.

Walk 1
Start Headquarters Daily Routine Cookhouse and Mess Accommodation
NAAFI Cromwell Tank and REME
  
Walk 2
REME Workshop Top of Hill Support Unit Area Sergeants Mess Tank Park
Orderly Room & Guard Room Officers Cookhouse End of walk
    

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Locations of all the 7th Armoured Division units before Normandy

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Enjoy you walk and the natural beauty and history this location has to offer.

 

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