Desert Rats embark upon final fundraising push for memorial

The Desert Rats Memorial, near Mundford. Picture: Ian Burt

The Desert Rats site is located at High Ash in Thetford Forest - Credit: IAN BURT

A final fundraising push is under way in a bid to establish a memorial dedicated to a distinguished army division.

Nicknamed the Desert Rats, the army’s 7th Armoured Division was stationed at Thetford Forest from January to May 1944 while it prepared for the Second World War invasion of Normandy.

The Desert Rats Association Memorial Day. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

The Desert Rats Association will host a memorial day at its High Ash site in Thetford Forest. Pictured is the 2017 event - Credit: Archant

It was the only time the division - active from 1938 to 1958 - was in the UK throughout its entire existence.

Since 2016, the Desert Rats Association has been trying to raise £90,000 for a new tribute at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

And, with around £30,000 remaining, the group has planned a memorial day at its High Ash off the A1065 near Mundford.


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Beginning at 10.30am on July 11, the event will feature military vehicles, stalls, a marching band and a remembrance service at 1pm. Entry is £3.50 for everyone over 12 years old.

Moreover, the annual Fun Dog Show will take place at Narborough Village Green on August 29. Everyone is welcome to enter their dog at a cost of £2 per class. 

The Desert Rats Association Memorial Day. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

The Desert Rats Association will host a memorial day at its High Ash site in Thetford Forest. Pictured is the 2017 event - Credit: Archant

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