Neville Upham was born at Taunton in Somerset in 1927.
After attending Prior Park school, Bath, he began his seafaring career as a cadet on the training ship WORCESTER at Greenhithe.
He started training as a deck officer with the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co Ltd in 1944 and gained qualification as master mariner (certificate numbers 57051, 63338 and 72577).
In the period 1955-1972 he was engaged on vessels operated by the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co Ltd, Bowater Steamship Co Ltd and also the King Line, frequently on voyages to South Africa or the USA.
After a period as Port Superintendent at Southampton, Upham left the merchant service and subsequently became first a Research Assistant, 1973, and then Assistant Keeper in the Department of Ships at the NMM between 1975 and 1982 before retiring to Somerset where he became parish clerk of Nynehead.