East & West Africa clasp Lake Nyassa 1893,
Lieut. E.C. Villiers, R.N. H.M.S. Pioneer.
Mounted as originally worn
Rear Admiral Edward Charles Villiers, C.M.G. (additionally entitled to a single British war Medal).
Commanded the gunboat Pioneer. Twenty nine clasps only were issued for this expedition against Chief Makanjira in Central Africa, all to Royal Navy personnel serving aboard H.M. Ships Adventure (12) and Pioneer (17).
These ships were built by Yarrow & Co. of Poplar, London, sent out to Africa in sections, and hauled over two hundred miles through virgin country and jungle to the edge of the lake where they were assembled. This remarkable undertaking, reflected in the appropriate names given to the ships.
Following the commencement of operations against the rebel chief Makanjira:‘H.M.S. Pioneer and H.M.S. Adventure then took part in a combined operation against Makanjira’s mother, Kalunda, a slave trading chieftainess, who with her warriors was shelled out of her village at Rifu Bay. Makanjira sent a dhow to rescue his mother but this was sunk by the Pioneer.’
Villiers was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June, 1890.and Commander on 30 June, 1901. Captain on 30 June, 1906. In December 1908, he assumed command of the second class protected cruiser Charybdis. Villiers commanded the flotillas defending the estuary of the Thames and was appointed C.M.G. for his war services In the Birthday Honours of 4 June, 1917, He was placed on the Retired List, with the rank of Rear-Admiral (Retired); from 23 October, 1917.
A rarity, 29 clasps awarded. 2 Officers commanding, 2 Surgeons, 1 gunner and 24 rates. 3 were returned to the Mint including the Gunner and 1 Surgeon and 2 received duplicate/s. Robertson commanding ‘Adventure’ received his Lake Nyassa clasp to his medal for Liwondi as did the second Surgeon.
Naval correspondence, reports and photograph albums relating to the naval career of Villiers is held by the University of Cambridge archive