1940s dinner dance in Thetford to fundraise for ‘desert rats’ memorial
- Credit: Archant
Thetford's 7th Armoured Division, known as the Desert Rats, are famous for their exploits, bravery, and sacrifice during the Second World War.
They are remembered for their service with a stone memorial at Sandhurst Military Academy.
The Desert Rats Association hope to relocate the memorial to the national arboretum in Staffordshire: a dedicated centre for remembrance, which was created to be a permanent place of memorial.
The new memorial will also commemorate all of those who have served with the division to this day.
And to fund raise for the move, association is holding a 1940s themed dinner and dance in Thetford, the only place in the UK that the Desert Rats were ever stationed. The division were in Thetford Forest from January to May 1944 while they prepared for the invasion of Normandy.
You may also want to watch:
Lt Col Simon Copley-Smith, chair of the Desert Rats Association, said: 'We're holding the event in Thetford as that's where the Desert Rats were based in the UK.
'Its an important place for the history of the division.
- 1 Moment delivery driver walks through shop window
- 2 What can't open in Norfolk on May 17 - and why
- 3 Two Norfolk destinations named among most scenic in UK
- 4 Five rare birds that have been spotted in Norfolk
- 5 Martin Lewis: How to get your hands on £280 if you worked from home
- 6 Man kicked and punched in head by group of attackers
- 7 Giles Orpen-Smellie elected as police and crime commissioner
- 8 Village pub's burgers are a hit for our reviewer as eating out returns
- 9 End of an era as Debenhams closes in Norwich
- 10 Hotel owner on directing The Only Way is Essex stars in Norfolk
'Our aspiration is to raise the money to move the Sandhurst memorial.
'It will be a down-to-earth evening, with period dress, a great meal, and lots of entertainment.
'I'd encourage anyone who's involved or interested in the history of the division to come along.'
The evening will be held at Lynford Hall, near Thetford, on Saturday, October 14, and coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein - the conflict which gave the historic division their famous name.
The event will raise money towards moving the memorial to its new location and expanding it.
The evening's entertainment will include a three course meal, complete with tea and coffee afterwards, special discounts on selected wines, and a raffle and tombola.
There will also a performance from the 1940s-themed group the Swingtime Sweethearts, and a talk from a historian on the Battle of El Alamein.
The dress code for the event is smart and/or 1940s-style, to fit with the theme of the evening.
Advance tickets cost £35, or £30 for Desert Rats Association members, and will not be available on the door. The event will run from 7pm to midnight.