Welcome to the campaign to design, construct and install a monument, dedicated to the naval and military heritage of HMS Vernon, in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Our fundraising effort continues apace, and we have now moved beyond the £230,000 milestone of monies raised towards the monument – our aim for 2017 is to add to this sum significantly to allow for construction of the sub-surface plinth and the scaled-version of the monument itself.
All donations are warmly welcomed and supporters are encouraged to browse our Shop pages for merchandise – all proceeds go towards the design, construction and installation of the monument. As a fully-registered charity, we can process Gift Aid certificates for all donations. This year we aim to hold two fundraising events: one in London and the other in Portsmouth to allow construction of elements of the monument to start in September 2017. This is all dependent on members of the RN’s minewarfare & diving community, and their supporters, pulling together to raise the remaining funds required.
Prince Harry (Commodore-in-Chief Small Ships & Diving) with chosen sculptor Les Johnson FRBS and Project Manager David Sandiford at Trinity House on 19 July 2017. He described the design of the planned monument as “fantastic”.
The fourteen-ton stone, bronze and steel structure will incorporate the dynamic above-water creation of renowned sculptor Les Johnson FRBS. It depicts a Royal Navy Clearance Diver in typical diving equipment (CDBA – used from the institution of the branch in 1952 until its replacement in the mid-1990s) placing an explosive charge on a publicly identifiable swept moored mine (British Mk 17L – buoyant contact mine) which has become fouled on a wreck on the seabed.
The diver represents all aspects of HMS Vernon’s diving heritage including clearance diving, deep diving, ship’s diving, experimental diving, SAR (Search & Rescue) diving and diving training including Royal Engineers diving based at HMS Vernon. He will act as a tribute to personnel involved in such operations and activities, past, present and future, including RN clearance diving personnel involved in EOD operations ashore on Operations GRANBY & TELIC in Iraq and Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan.
The mine, incorporating a fouled sweepwire and explosive cutter, represents all aspects of HMS Vernon’s minewarfare heritage including those involved in mine design, minelaying, bomb & mine disposal, minesweeping and minehunting. It will act as a tribute to personnel involved in such operations and activities, past, present and future, including personnel who have manned and continue to man the minehunters deployed in the Gulf region on Operations ARMILLA, CALENDAR, GRANBY, TELIC & KIPION for the past several years.