On Tuesday The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the Desert Rats Association, paid a visit to the ‘Voices from the Desert’, an exhibition by the artist Anna Redwood. The Duchess met members of the 7th Armoured Brigade (Desert Rats), veterans and representatives from Combat Stress.
‘Voices from the Desert’ is an exhibition of art & sculpture which marks the return of British troops from Afghanistan. Anna Redwood spent time in Afghanistan with British Troops on active duty. The artist has produced this one-woman retrospective depicting the thoughts and messages of the serving soldiers she lived and worked with.
The exhibition features an 11ft high, heavy-metal RAT sculpture – designed and constructed by Anna from scrapped vehicles found in the desert. The British Army has transported this regimental mascot all the way back from Camp Bastion and it will be on display at the La Galleria Pall Mall for this exhibition before it is moved to a permanent home with the 7th Armoured Brigade – The Desert Rats.
The British 7th Armoured Division is one of the most famous brigades in the British Army. It was created in the desert of North Africa just before the Second World War. The brigade fought in the major campaigns of the war. Since World War II, the Desert Rats have fought in most conflicts including first and second Gulf wars and in Afghanistan.
Camilla has a personal connection to the Desert Rats. Her father, Major Bruce Shand, served with the Desert Rats in the Second World War before he was captured during the Battle of El Alamein. Major Shand was awarded two military crosses.
The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the Desert Rats Association and an Honorary Member.
Photo Credit: (c) Chloe Howard