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OES Oilfield Services Group, Executive Chairman, Richard Upshall recently attended the HMS Victory dinner alongside his father John Upshall. This was a charity event in recognition of the Royal Navy Clearance Diving and Mine Warfare, the event had around 90 people in attendance. The goal of the HMS Victory dinner was to raise money for the building of a memorial in respect of the officers and ratings.

The officers were trained at HMS Vernon and many ended up in the offshore oil & gas industry. Whilst HMS Vernon has since closed, it remains on the site of the current Gunwharf Quays development in Portsmouth. It is proposed to build a statue and place it in the centre of the old creek that still exists on the site as a permanent memorial. The target for the monument is £275,000.

VIPs who attended the event included former Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce, former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band and former Head of MI6 Sir John Scarlett.

Simon Morgan late of Bonhams held the flamboyant auction and we were able to contribute by purchasing 2 items, this event raised over £100k for the charity.

Richards’s connections to the military are through his Grandfather, Eric Randall Cooper, who was an officer in the Royal Marines who went on to become a Prison Governor. His Grandfather served his country in so many ways, his focus was largely vocational in later years working with the under privileged and was a true pillar of society.

OES has historically drawn many of its inspectors from HM Armed Forces, including the Navy, as have many of OES’s loyal customers. It seemed only appropriate for OES, subsequent to this long association to give generously for such a unique opportunity to recognise gallantry throughout the decades.

For more information about the charity and how to donate please visit


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