PRINCE HARRY TO ATTEND RECEPTION FOR PROJECT VERNON
Wednesday 19th July, 2017
Prince Harry will attend a reception for Project Vernon, the campaign to install a monument dedicated to the heritage of HMS Vernon, at Trinity House on Wednesday 19 July. His Royal Highness is Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
HMS Vernon was a shore establishment of the Royal Navy. Vernon was established in 1876 as the Royal Navy’s Torpedo Branch, named after the ship HMS Vernon which served as part of its floating base. After the First World War, HMS Vernon moved ashore, taking over the Gunwharf site in Portsmouth, where it continued to operate until 1996 when the various elements comprising the establishment were split up and moved to different commands.
HMS Vernon originally hosted the Mining and Torpedo Schools, from which the Clearance Diving and Mine Warfare branches evolved. It was also where mines and mine disposal techniques and equipment were developed and minesweepers, minehunters and clearance diving teams were based.
HMS Vernon was the alma mater of naval personnel awarded 23 George Crosses and at least 134 George Medals for bomb and mine disposal on land and at sea during the Second World War. Since the Second World War personnel associated with HMS Vernon, its mine countermeasures vessels and diving teams, have been awarded at least one Distinguished Service Order, 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, 69 British Empire medals, 14 Queen’s Gallantry Medals and 35 Queen’s Commendations for Bravery.
The Vernon Monument, designed by Australian sculptor Les Johnson FRBS, will be the first monument or memorial to commemorate HMS Vernon’s heritage and celebrate the incredible achievements of its personnel. Such personnel continue to operate worldwide and the Vernon Monument will act as a fitting, publicly accessible tribute to them.
The reception will take place ahead of the Vernon Monument ‘Falklands 35’ Charity Dinner, which will mark the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War and will be attended by several Falkland veterans.
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