During the formal opening of the "Winston" Club, in Berlin, for the 7th Armoured Division Other Ranks, by Winston Churchill, his speech contained the following words;

"Soldiers of the 7th Armoured Division. I am delighted to be able to open this Club and I shall always consider it a great honour that it should be named after me.

I have, not of the first time, had the pleasure of seeing your troops march past, and this brings back to my mind the great many moving incidents in these last, long fierce years.

Now, here in Berlin, I find you all established in this great centre, from which, as from a volcano, fire and smoke and poison fumes have erupted all over Europe twice in a generation. And in bygone times also German fury has been let loose  on her neighbours, and now it is we who have our place in the occupation of this country.

I feel that I can go far as to ask Field Marshal Montgomery to signalise this happy event of the Great Victory Parade we have has today by giving a whole holiday to all troops in Berlin and I hope, Field Marshal, that you can accommodate this to operational and other necessities.

Now I have only a word more to say about the Desert Rats. They were the first to begin. The 11th Hussars were in action in the desert in 1940 and ever since you have kept marching steadily forward on the long road to victory. Through so many countries and changing scenes you have fought your way. 

It is not without emotion that I can express to you what I feel about the Desert Rats.

Dear Desert Rats! May your glory ever shine! May your laurels never fade! May the memory of this glorious pilgrimage of war which you have made from Alamein, via the Baltic to Berlin never die!

It is a march unsurpassed through all the story of war so as my reading of history leads to believe. May the fathers long tell the children about this tale. May you all feel that in following your great ancestors you have accomplished something which has done good to the whole world; which has raised the honour of your country and which every man has the right to feel proud of".


Below is a picture of Winston Churchill addressing some of the Division during the opening of the 'Winston Club' in Berlin.

Winston Churchill addressin 7th Armoured Division in Berlin 1945

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