The Desert Rats Association
The Desert Rat
The Mark IV Cromwell Tank on the plinth is a replica of
"Little Audrey" 5 Able, "B" Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment
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. In 2015, the 7th Armoured Brigade will be disbanded and the 7th Infantry Brigade will be 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
(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
Her Royal Highness was the guest of honour at the Commemorations for the 65th Anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein at the memorial on 24th October 2007.
It is with great pleasure we can announce that HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to extend her patronage of the Desert Rats Association for a further 5 years.
The attention HRH has paid to her patronage in the past has been greatly appreciated by us all and especially the veterans, I have sent our grateful thanks.
Rod Scott, Chairman
23rd August 2010
See the Commemoration here
To reflect that alas the number of original Desert Rats is getting less as each year passes and to so recognise and support those who have worn the Desert Rat and Black Rat badges since World War Two, in the modern day 7th Armoured and 4th Mechanized (ex 4th Armoured) Brigade the Association has changed its name to the Desert Rats Association. The design of the association website will be gradually updated to reflect this change.
Good news! The Association is now the proud owner of a second hand Nissen Hut. It is being refurbished before construction of it can commence. This will allow the creation of the planned museum area on our memorial site, to become a reality.
We can now announce that planning permission for the museum has been granted, so work on the construction can commence soon.
However, the Association does need to raise funds to erect a new fence and additional Nissen hut, to complete the creation of a Desert Rat Museum. The existing hut will continue to show living conditions for the men stationed there before Normandy in 1944, the second hut will be an educational centre for schools, military units and all interested parties, with a wealth of artifacts professionally displayed.
This is an artists impression of the Museum area, which will include a light Refreshment area and will make a first class addition to the Norfolk museum trail.
Publication of new books
The association has recently been made aware of three new publication related to the Desert Rats. The details of these and the review can be found on the History Page of our site in the books section.
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.
Annual General Meeting
The next Association Annual General Meeting was held at 10am on Tuesday 14th April 2015 in the Schoolroom, Forestry Commission Headquarters, Santon Downham, Brandon, Suffolk. Minutes of the meeting can be read here.
Memorial Open Day 2015
This year's open day and reunion for all Desert Rats past and present from the 7th Armoured Division, and from the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades, will be held on Sunday 21st June 2015.
The association is pleased to announce that Brigadiers Nanson and Woodham have both been awarded CBEs
VE Day Events
There will no doubt be many events around the UK to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VE Day and we will happily post information on those in our region on this site. So far we have been advised of one in Lavenham, Suffolk on 8th to 10th May 2015 as per the attached file
The association formed to look after the Memorial has no regular income and relies on donations which can be sent via our Secretary, Tina Scott, 8 Thurston Road, Beyton, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP30 9AE. Telephone 01359 270490. Cheques should be made payable to The 7th Armoured Division Memorial Fund.
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.
Help support the Desert Rats Association
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.
A Brief History of the Desert Rats and Memorial. (Now with video links)
Location of 7th Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) Memorial
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
Visitors since 1st September 2006