Crimea 3 clasps, Alma, Inkermann, Sebastopol, (Capt. 47th. Regt. -engraved), France, Legion of Honour , Turkey, Order of the Majidie, 5th Class breat badge, Sardinia, Al Valore Militaire (Bt. Lt. Coll. James Villiers, 47th Regt)(officially engraved), Turkish Crimea, sardinian issue.
Legion of Honour London Gazette 4/8/1856.
Order of the Medjidie London Gazette 2/3/ 1858.
Citation for the Al Valore Medal reads:
'Lieutenant-Colonel James Villiers served the Eastern Campaign of 1854-5, including the Alma, Inkermann, sortie on the 26th of October 1854, the whole of the siege of Sebastopol, and was engaged in the attack and capture of the Quarries on the 7th of June 1855.'
James Villiers was born in 1820. Ensign 47th Foot 1839, Captain, Lieutenant 1841 and Captain 1847. From 1850 the Regiment was stationed at Corfu, then still under British protection.
At the Battle of Inkermann on 5 November, the 47th Foot, commanded by Major Fordyce, held the extreme left of the British position on Home Ridge, overlooking the Mikriakoff Glen. This feature jutted into the British flank, providing covered access for an attacking force. When General Soimonoff's Division attacked the British left at 7 a.m., the 1st Battalion, Katherinberg Regiment charged wildly towards the 47th. Major Fordyce calmly ordered his men to open fire at less than fifty yards' range into the dense Russian column, which shuddered and broke under well-directed British volleys. Unlike some other Regiments, the 47th showed admirable discipline and did not pursue their fleeing enemy.
Promoted to Major on 4 May 1855, Villiers commanded a select group of the 47th which formed part of the 400-strong storming party that attacked the Quarries – an outerwork guarding the approach to the Redan – on 7 June. Avoiding the deadly fougasses to their front, the stormers attacked the flanks of the Quarries and took the Russians by surprise, forcing them back to the Redan and inflicting over 100 casualties. Singled out for praise in Lord Raglan's despatch, Villiers led from the front and was severely wounded during the assault (London Gazette, 21 June 1855). Though the 47th sustained losses of 3 officers and 57 men wounded. Raglan wrote that having taken the position 'they were repeatedly attacked during the night, and soon after daylight ion the 8th, and it was in resisting these repeated efforts on the part of the enemy…i have pleasure in mentioning the following officers, who are stated to have distinguished themselves on the occasion…..Major Villiers, 47th..severely wounded'.
Villiers was breveted Lieutenant-Colonel on 17 July 1855. He was awarded the 5th Class of the Legion of Honour and of the Medjidie, in addition to the Sardinian Medal for Valour. Placed on half pay 15 June 1858, he returned to England and married Lucy Elizabeth Drummond Davies, the third and youngest daughter of Lady Lucy Clementina, sister of George Drummond, 14th Earl of Perth and 6th Duke of Melfort.
Returning to active duty, Villiers was appointed to command the 74th Highlanders on 14 November 1859, following Indian Mutiny. He died at Belasse, India on 10 May 1860.
A very fine Al Valore group