Founded in 2008, Project Vernon is the campaign name of the charity committed to designing, funding, constructing and installing a monument at the former HMS VERNON, in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Formerly the home to a range of specialist underwater warfare organisations, HMS VERNON provided a significant contribution to the defence of the nation for several centuries through the many skilled personnel who worked, trained and were based within her walls.
The planned 2 tonne, 1.25 life-size Vernon Monument standing in one point two metres of water in Pool B at Gunwharf Quays will be seen by a footfall of 8 million per year. The Monument will commemorate the mine warfare & diving heritage of HMS VERNON and celebrate all those involved in mine warfare, be it mine design, mining, minesweeping and mine hunting, as well as service diving and naval bomb & mine disposal - past, present and future. It will also act as a fitting memorial to those who died while engaged in such activities and be a monument to all who served there.
The Vernon Monument
The intended location for the monument is the centre of Pool B, the middle of the three pools in the former HMS Vernon site, now the Gunwharf Quays residential and retail park. The proposed location is an enclosed sea water lock some 1.2 metres deep.
Previously, the waterway was a tidal canal known as “Vernon Creek” that serviced the King’s Mill located some four hundred metres to the east. In the 20th Century it was the regular berth for a range of Royal Navy/Royal Naval Reserve and Auxiliary vessels when HMS Vernon was operating at its peak as an operational Naval establishment and busy specialist training base for a variety of mainly underwater warfare schools. The print of Vernon Creek from the original painting by John Terry (available from the online Shop) shows typical vessels as used in the prosecution of mine warfare and diving activities during the 1970s.