On 16th February 1940, the Mobile Division became the 7th Armoured Division and at about the same time the famous Jerboa Divisional Sign appeared. Following a visit to Cairo Zoo the wife of General Creagh (the Divisional commander) produced a design of desert rat (pictured below) which was approved by the officers and men of the Division and this was then drawn up by Trooper Ken Hill of RTR.
The men took to the Jerboa and adopted the nick-name of "The Desert Rats".
The Red Rat
7th Armoured's initial emblem was inherited from the Mobile Division, being a plain white circle on a scarlet ground. However, soon after Gen O'Moore Creagh took command, he decided that the circle should contain some symbol that was truly representative of the division's desert background. He chose the Greater Egyptian Jerboa (Jaculus Orientalis), a tough little rodent that lived in the Arabian desert. [...] The next problem was to find a live one to copy, but after much searching one was located in Cairo Zoo and the first "Desert Rat Rampart" was drawn on a sheet of hotel notepaper by Mrs Creagh and Mrs Peyton (wife of the GS03). This was transferred in flaming scarlet to the white circle on the divisional commander's flag by Peter Hordern (then serving as a liaison officer at Div HQ) and thence onto every vehicle and every topee flash.
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