Mundford Memorial and Camp

Back Mundford, Norfolk

Shaker’s Wood is the site of a camp used by the British 7th Armoured Division – the Desert Rats – prior to the Normandy landings.

Shaker’s Wood at Mundford was once used by one of the most famous formations in the British Army during the Second World War: the 7th Armoured Division, the ‘Desert Rats’.

The Division was formed before the start of the war in the North African desert, bringing together a number of units stationed in Egypt. It then fought in the desert campaign until 1943, taking part in the battle of El Alamein. The Division later took part in the Italian campaign but was returned to England in November 1943 in order to prepare for the Normandy landings.

The Division landed in France late on 6thJune (on Gold Beach) and took a major part in the subsequent battle of Normandy. Thereafter, 7th Armoured liberated parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. In 1945 it took part in the Rhine crossing and finished the war in Hamburg. In July 1945 the Division joined the British garrison in Berlin and took part in the Allied victory parade.

A memorial to the Division stands at Mundford in Norfolk. The Division was stationed here between January and May 1944 where they undertook pre D-Day training. This is now the site of a trail, which takes walkers round the former camp.

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